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Re: RDFa test case #1 missing @profile?

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 10:37:31 +0000
Message-ID: <a707f8300803070237x30e4b12cw372c3b1950a8784@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Norman Walsh" <ndw@nwalsh.com>
Cc: "Shane McCarron" <shane@aptest.com>, RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>

Hi Norm,

>  | To publish RDF you currently have to set up a triple store, or create
>  | RDF/XML files that could be linked to from your web-pages (and
>  | probably do content negotiation), or set up some additional XSLT pages
>  | on your server to do GRDDL transforms, or edit @profile in your
>  | documents to point to someone else's GRDDL transforms.
>  |
>  | But the HTML publishing revolution took off when people stopped having
>  | to configure servers, or edit and upload entire HTML pages, just to
>  | add a comment about what they had for their tea.
> Ok, but you're not really going to reach the folks who create web pages
>  about what they had for tea, are you? They're filling in web forms and
>  using WYSIWYG-ish editors. It seems to me that the systems that don't
>  provide enough control to add some sort of "opt-in" marker are equally
>  the systems that won't allow RDFa.

Ah...but I can as of today, fire up a Blogger account, and create a
post that contains RDFa, using nothing more than the ordinary Blogger
interface. Sure, that's more than the average blogger would do
(although it's no different to microformats), but since Blogger
supports Atom/APP, I could use a tool that someone has built that
allows me to add RDFa through a nice interface. The key point is that
I don't need to have control over the entire web-site, or set up a
server, or configure .htaccess files, or add extra RDF/XML files or
RDF databases...you get the picture. :)

(I'm not saying that this obviates the need for RDF on a server, only
that publishing small amounts of metadata should be as easy as...well,
as easy as publishing HTML.)

>  As it stands today, my own blog comment system, for example, discards
>  extra random attributes.
>  Has anyone done a survey of where RDFa will actually be allowed
>  without any mods from the hosting providers?

That would be interesting. I only know Blogger, and that works fine in
blog posts, but sadly removes most mark-up from my profile, which is
the one place I'd have liked to have put it. A description of this is


and a FOAF profile created as a blog post is here:


(The blog-post provides a simple template for adding a FOAF profile to
your site, and I know a couple of people that have already used it to
do exactly that. So even without WYSIWYG editors, etc., we can start
to get non-techies using RDFa, especially now that Yahoo! will pick
this up.)

>  | So the question is why I shouldn't be able to publish RDF as easily as
>  | I can write a blog, or use my CMS, or post to Twitter, or send an
>  | email? In short, the core tenet of XHTML+RDFa is to leverage the HTML
>  | publishing model, but use it to publish RDF. But we can only do that
>  | if we don't insist that authors must have control over the entire
>  | document in order to take part.
> Yes, it should be easier to publish semantic web content. But the
>  approach that RDFa takes imposes a risk on the larger ecosystem that
>  concerns me.

First, you really have to back up such a strong claim...RDFa imposing
a risk on the ecosystem? That's scary if true, so we need to hear it.

But second, for years people have simply said "it should be easier to
publish semantic web content", but I've not seen any progress in that
area. A lot of RDF folks embraced Microformats hoping that it would be
a way to make this possible, but it was always clear from an RDF
standpoint that it didn't fly. GRDDL is great for processing already
existing data, but it is not a viable *publishing* model.

But RDFa is. RDFa gives us the possibility of making the "it _should_
be easier" statement into a "it _is_ easier".

> Yeah, well, I agree with you there. The doc type is a really bad idea.

Great. But just to reemphasise, the problem with doc types is that any
insistence on some RDFa-signal that is part of the main document,
means that we can no longer leverage current HTML publishing



  Mark Birbeck

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Received on Friday, 7 March 2008 10:37:39 UTC

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