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Re: html for scholarly communication: RASH, Scholarly HTML or Dokieli?

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 15:32:39 -0400
To: Johannes Wilm <mail@johanneswilm.org>, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286@cam.ac.uk>
Cc: W3C Scholarly HTML CG <public-scholarlyhtml@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5ee3416e-4b52-0ec5-5e49-06a5996c0529@berjon.com>
On 06/09/2017 10:32 , Johannes Wilm wrote:
> So does this mean that Scholarly HTML effectively is no longer existent?
> Or do Tzviya, Ivan, Robin and/or others plan on continuing with this? If
> yes, is the idea that this could eventually replace RASH, Dokieli, etc.
> or is there another goal with Scholarly HTMl than the other ones?

SH still exists as much as it ever did. The science.ai platform uses it
throughout.

The goal behind SH is simple: bring interoperability to scientific
content (primarily articles at this stage) by doing nothing more than
using the platform as it exists. One driving concern is that if you show
it to someone who just knows the basic Web platform but who knows little
about the specifics of scholarly publishing it should "make sense" to
them. It should also just work with the existing infrastructure that you
can expect Web people to be familiar with and to use.

So it really is "just" HTML+schema.org used sensibly. There is, as
always, a certain amount of arbitrariness (eg. choosing between RDFa and
Microdata is not a clear decision) that requires a specification for
people to interoperate from, but it really isn't much.

One aspect that may come across as counter-intuitive given the above is
that it is not, however, meant to be an authoring format. It is designed
to be simple for interchange; the constraints upon being simple for
humans to produce are different. Focusing on interchange means less
optionality and more verbosity — which makes it easier and more reliable
to process. I see another advantage: people can compete on authoring
solutions, which I think is good because it is insane to believe that
everyone will agree on what makes a good authoring format. Hell, some
people even like LaTeX ;-) In all seriousness, I see DS3
(http://docx.science.ai/) as an authoring format for SH, for people who
think that Word is cool.

SA plans to release some human-oriented documentation about (our
implementation of) SH (ie. not a spec) relatively soon, more like a
friendly update to http://scholarly.vernacular.io/. It won't form a good
basis for interoperable processors but it should explain all the
concepts that we use. We can't, at this stage, commit the time to also
produce a spec-like document but we remain fully supportive of it. Given
the Vernacular document, the current spec, and that draft I think
someone interested would have all the basic bits required to put a newer
spec together (assuming, of course, that that person and the group agree
that the decisions made there are sensible!).

This group here has:

  • A clear a strong level of interest;
  • An overall good idea of what's required (a Web-based replacement for
JATS);
  • The right technical knowledge;
  • The right community to provide feedback;
  • All the infrastructure.

The only thing that's missing here is drive. Anyone with an hour or two
a week to dedicate to the cause would have this wrapped by the end of
the year. I'm sorry that person can't be me right now; I hoped I would
have more time but the life of a small startup is what it is!

> For us priorities are to follow a standard that does as much as possible
> follow good practices in terms of standardization (having a formal way
> to influence the process, open discussions, a decision making process,
> etc.), but secondly also to work on a format that has a future of some
> kind because someone else is using it or at least planning on using it
> in the future. 

That's the plan!

-- 
• Robin Berjon
• http://berjon.com/
• @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 19:33:12 UTC

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