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

From: Silvio Peroni <silvio.peroni@unibo.it>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 10:13:06 +0200
Message-ID: <DF45299E-762C-400F-B070-6681DC1B60C3@unibo.it>
CC: <public-scholarlyhtml@w3.org>
To: Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>
Hi Sarven, all,

>> Dokieli is an HTML editor like Fidus
>> Writer, it is not a format, 
> You use the term "editor" and "not a format" as if dokieli does not 1)
> produce or 2) consume HTML as well as various RDF formats or something.

Yep, sorry, I wasn’t precise enough there. What I mean is that Dokieli is not a format or HTML-based language per se – like RASH is –, rather it is an editor that consume/produce plausibly (i.e. HTML-pattern-based, as highlighted in your documentation) generic HTML (which is a format/language) and RDF embedded in the HTML document.

> The HTML patterns that are specified so far are reused across those
> kinds of documents

I agree that HTML patterns (i.e. ways of using HTML for defining particular article structure) is important, and should be taken into consideration in Scholarly HTML – actually it is the whole point. However, I think that such eventual “Scholarly HTML CG spec” (SH-CG from now on) should provide complete, formal, unambiguous, and content-focussed rules for creating a scholarly article in HTML. In particular:

- “complete” means that all the main constructs of an article must be addressed. Of course we should decide what are these main constructs – paragraphs, figures, tables, sections, frontmatter info (title, author, etc.), etc. – before trying to map each of them with specific HTML elements;

- “formal” means that we need some automatic mechanism for establishing whether a document is compliant with SH-CG or not. I think this is an important part of the story, since it allows one to certify if a certain document is 100% compatible with a series of tools that have been / will be developed according to SH-CG;

- “unambiguous” means that we need to provide a precise rule (or HTML pattern, if you prefer) for defining these structures, avoiding, for instance, to have two elements that carry the same structural semantics (e.g. we have to choose if we prefer “em” or “i”);

- “content-focussed” means that all the presentational and layout things – such as if one would to show references ordered by name or by appearance, the fact that headings of section have a number or not, etc. – should be kept out of SH-CG, since they are actually referring to something that may change according to the particular final users (that can be a researcher, a publisher, etc.).

> Please have a look at what dokieli specifies and compare with RASH’s.

I’ve already seen it, and the approach is totally different indeed – that’s normal: you are talking about an editor that is able to consume different kinds of HTML when they comply to generic patterns; instead RASH is a formal HTML-based format or language or vernacular.

> I would say that dokieli's HTML patterns have quite a bit of commonality
> with Scholarly HTML's than RASH - from the looks of it at least. But, we
> can leave this discussion to the comparison analysis that Benjamin proposed.

I agree, and here I’m not even talking about what is better and what is not. It is something that should be discussed and agreed by all of us. However the goal is to produce SH CG – even if there is already a draft available written by Robin and Tzviya that is a good start for discussion. But, really, I would like to approach it after we have produced the various HTML version of the disciplined-related documents we have agreed before.

> If I write a "grammar" for dokieli, would its HTML be a "format" in your
> opinion?

That’s a good question. I actually think that Dokieli is already proposing its format – otherwise it cannot work. The only difference is that such format is “informal”, i.e. it is not defined by any grammar, and one cannot check if an HTML document is 100% compatible with it or not. That’s the whole point of my discussion. But we will have time to extend and discuss such an argument, I think it is quite unrelated with the issue raised here, i.e. trying to get to a common set of formal rules for defining scholarly articles in HTML – a.k.a. SH-CG.

Have a nice day :-)


Silvio Peroni, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Bologna, Bologna (Italy)
Tel: +39 051 2095393
E-mail: silvio.peroni@unibo.it
Web: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/silvio.peroni/en
Twitter: essepuntato

Received on Saturday, 9 September 2017 08:13:42 UTC

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