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Re: [DataGov-DEV] Updated Microdata to RDF Working Draft

From: Bernadette Hyland <bhyland@3roundstones.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2013 13:28:48 -0500
Cc: egov-ig mailing list <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, datagov-dev mailing list <DATAGOV-DEV@LISTSERV.GSA.GOV>
Message-Id: <CA732FF5-8FDF-4D97-9664-F358E64988F0@3roundstones.com>
To: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>, Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>, Stéphane Corlosquet <scorlosquet@gmail.com>
Sorry for the delay in responding, December was a truly a month of exceptional events -- house fire, family death - (not related to fire), and major product release.   Whew!  All is fine now but catching up on some older email.

A while back, I responded to a question on a data.gov mailing list re: XHTML vs HTML5 and the conversation later morphed into microdata vs. RDFa.  I posted, to the egov-ig list (14-Dec-12), as an open data advocate & practitioner, in response to a government stakeholder's call for tools that produce markup in either microdata or RDFa Lite to help agencies build their open data services.

Please allow me to provide some context because I didn't mean to offend anyone or take away from worthy efforts to build the Web of data, quite the opposite.

Disclaimer:  The following is my view and not that of the W3C or any government agency.

Ed is quite right, no one is in a position to say the US Government should be using RDFa v1.1 over Microdata.

Yes, lots of very valuable stuff is published using microdata.  Library of Congress has been a pioneer in publishing great content in reusable formats on the Web.  Nothing I nor anyone says should ever take away from this major contribution.    

That said, we as practitioners on this list, who are part of a larger community of open data people, can and should share information about standards emerging out of the Web's international, peer-reviewed standards community (W3C) and the larger Web community that includes schema.org stakeholders.  

Having a list-based discussion to get input from practitioners, publishers, consumers of gov't open data is what the Web is all about IMO.  My hope is that the US Government will be informed & guided by that public discourse and input.

So back to my point that put some people on edge saying that 'microdata is an evolutionary dead end'.  The spirit behind my statement was simply -- future proof yourself.  If you're preparing for the future, i.e., guidelines for publishing in 2013 or 2014, leverage the latest thinking of the W3C & schema.org and that from what I read is:

Publish machine & human readable content using RDFa v1.1 Lite.  Several major search engines (via schema.org) support it AND it is fully upward compatible with RDFa 1.1 which is a W3C Recommendation.  Further, to Marion's specific question, I quote the W3C Recommendation "RDFa 1.1 is specified for both XHTML [XHTML-RDFA] and HTML5 [HTML-RDFA]."

The reality is, every agency will interpret any recommendations, best practices, etc. that data.gov, schema.org or W3C produces.   Our goal should be to provide clear, simple guidance that is non-exclusionary and backward compatible wherever possible.  

I hope that gov't authorities feel confident & willing to publish guided by what the international, peer reviewed recommendations & best practices AND that the major search engines will parse it so people can actually find it, be informed and easily leverage it to fix big problems and make the world a better place.  

Is that so much to ask? 

Afterall, VP Biden is handling America's gun problem this week ...  The open data problem is an easier issue to solve, I hope.  But then again, as @dbasch famously said (Twitter, 17-Nov-2012), "Many companies think they have a "big data" problem when they really have a big "data problem."

It will surely take all of us to solve big problems in 2013, hopefully informed by good data.

Bernadette Hyland

[1} RDFa Lite 1.1, W3C Recommendation, June 7, 2012, Manu Sporny, editor, see http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-lite/

On Dec 18, 2012, at 9:15 PM, Ed Summers wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM, Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net> wrote:
>> Ed, OMB's official guidance to agencies on implementation of section 10 of the GPRA Modernization Act (GPRAMA) says they may use XML, JSON, spreadsheets or CSVs in order to meet the requirement to publish their strategic and performance plans and reports in machine-readable format... but not PDF or HTML -- at least not without "enhanced structural elements".[1]
> I couldn't help but chuckle at how [1] is a PDF. I get your point
> however, which I think reinforces mine, that there is no US federal
> policy that prefers RDFa 1.1 over HTML Microdata for publishing
> metadata in HTML.
> //Ed

Received on Thursday, 10 January 2013 18:29:22 UTC

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