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Re: A request for conference organizers and promoters

From: Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>
Date: Wed, 01 May 2013 18:16:18 +0200
Message-ID: <51813FD2.1040702@csarven.ca>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 05/01/2013 05:13 PM, Harry Halpin wrote:
> As is well-known, (X)HTML+RDFa as a conference proceeding format has
> failed due to links, inability to make conformant (X)HTML, and RDFa
> being generally hard to write.
> I think ePub (HTML5 profile) will solve these, and when that is more
> mature, I'd be happy to switch conferences I'm co-chairing to a ePub or
> HTML5 format. Sorry, but not (X)HTML+RDFa for reasons Ivan, Daniel, and
> others mentioned.We'd also need good conversion tools between ePub/HTML5
> and PDF, but I think those will happen quickly given the market demand
> around PDF and ePub, a market demand that does not exist for (X)HTML+RDFa.
> (typed as chairing WebSci 2013).

Hi Harry. The discussion in general at hand (see other threads leading 
to this [1]) over the course of the week is in two fold:

* Getting SW/LD conferences to put their share by allowing Web friendly 
formats as an alternative to PDF.

* Authors publishing their work as allowed. Nothing stops them from 
continuing in their preferred ways.

Primary mission: Eating Our Own Dogfood.

I'm going to quote Bernadette Hyland (I'm sure she wouldn't mind) 
because she put our shared thoughts on this as eloquently as possible 
off list and credit is where is due:

"if *we* in the greater engineering & scientific communities don't grock 
the value of structured content to improve discovery & access, how can 
we *ever* expect government stakeholders & the general public to value 
what you get with a bit of extra effort (i.e., adding structured data / 
consuming structured data)."

So, we are not even remotely trying to cover all marketplaces, all 
research material, all whatevers. Just the immediate SW/LD folks to 
start with.

I have a difficult time accepting or at least hearing the claim that 
(X)HTML(+RDFa) is difficult to write and it has failed. It is a 
turn-off. a First, I'd love to see some survey results or something 
equivalent of that to back that up. Hence, I proposed [2]. Second, is 
/paragraph really simpler than <p> ? Is TeX really simpler than HTML? 
Third, whatever the issue is, we can work towards improving it as 
opposed to throwing our hands up in the air, claiming that chaos is in 
charge and walking away from the problem.

So, I would argue that it is not our abilities that's keeping us behind, 
but our laziness, carelessness, and our blind obedience.

Really glad that you've raised ePub (HTML5) as a possibility. And, I'd 
love to hear more about the market aspect if you can further share your 

To wrap it up, the discussion is not whether if RDFa or some other 
flavour of RDF serialization, or Microdata or microformats, is best fit, 
but it is about at least getting HTML in there. Can we at least focus on 
welcoming that as a first-class format as far as SW/LD community is 
concerned? I would say that would be a gigantic leap from demanding 

IMHO, we need to do more of "okay, lets go for X which is reasonable 
enough and figure out the rest along the way" as opposed to "how about 
this? how about this? how about this? nope, not perfect. lets talk in 5 

Conferences do their part: welcome it.

Authors: put in the effort!

This is ours and we need work towards it. And, this has been put off way 
too long and incredibly disappointing to see us running ourselves into a 
wall year after year. However long it will take us, lets just friggin' 

We are able to output HTML+CSS to PDF with LNCS/ACM SIG styles to a 
reasonable degree. We can perfect it if we need to whatever quality that 
we set ourselves up to. IMO, here is one modest start [3]. Lets get 
something along those lines going for authors, so that reviewers see a 
consistent view of papers (whether they originate from HTML or TeX). 
Consequently, we might actually get some structured data out of it and 
who knows, by some miracle, we might even have these actually end up on 
a standard looking webpage and point at it from other places. One might 
say "woah, can we also get free reviewers from the Web (society) at 
large by having a simple comment system on the webpage too?"

You know, all hippie dippy stuff.

(Typed with a smiley face)

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-lod/2013Apr/0291.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-lod/2013Apr/0347.html
[3] https://github.com/csarven/linked-research


Received on Wednesday, 1 May 2013 16:16:47 UTC

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