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Re: Feedback on RDFa Primer

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 13:17:00 +0100
Message-ID: <a707f8300708310517o6e4a9a8fqdb22d3acfdb9bb21@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Ben Adida" <ben@adida.net>
Cc: "Hausenblas, Michael" <michael.hausenblas@joanneum.at>, "Manu Sporny" <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>

Hi Ben,

> Let's agree on the general outline and then I think the nature of the
> figure(s) needed will be much clearer.

Definitely. Although I think the current outline is almost there. My
suggestion is not to change it that much, but only to see if some of
the earlier stuff could be done with _existing_ HTML attributes, just
to get people feeling comfortable, before we _then_ start introducing
the new attributes. But I agree with your earlier point that we did
actually consciously try to create a 'story' in the Primer, and it
would be a shame to lose that.

> But let's also not do what we've done too often, which is to start from
> scratch.

I'm not sure when we have done that! :) But your point is well made.

The Primer seems to be almost there, and a big re-write would be time
consuming. It's also probably unnecessary, since this document is
going to be one amongst many on RDFa once the spec is out there. For
all we know, Bob du Charme will write the definitive 'primer'. :) The
best thing we can do is ensure that there is something out there of a
quality that gets people moving.

> Let's restructure things slightly, cut down on needless
> verbiage, keep enough HTML examples, and sprinkle just enough of a
> description of RDF triples to make sure beginners aren't lost (they
> could get lost because of too little or too much.)

Definitely. For me the triple stuff should come in a little later than
others are saying though, and it should be presented as a 'shorthand'
for writing metadata rather than being the goal in itself. For
example, in early sections, we might say that the author of a document
is Ben Adida. We could gently introduce triples without calling them
that, by adopting a convention where we explain the 'meaning' of the
mark-up by using a table:

  | What          | Property | Value     |
  | This document | Author   | Ben Adida |

And so on.

The reason I say that creating triples is not the goal itself is that
is very RDF-centric. Any RDF developer reading the primer will see the
RDF-ness without any trouble, so we don't need to labour that. And any
non-RDF aware author does not need to be distracted by it. For authors
then, the goal is marking up their metadata in a way that makes it
usable by other applications--interpreting that mark-up as RDF is
essentially step 2.

(I'm not at all saying we disagree here, Ben...I'm responding to the
various threads of discussion in this email.)



  Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer

  mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
  http://www.formsPlayer.com | http://internet-apps.blogspot.com

  standards. innovation.
Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 12:17:10 UTC

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