HTML+js schema navigator

Just a quick note to circulate some work-in-progress from a
collaboration with Michael Hausenblas.

Well, collaboration in the sense that I did a lot of talking and he
did all the actual work - thanks Michael! But I think it's the start
of something interesting and we wanted to bounce it around here for
feedback before going further.

The motivation is that we've now got quite a large collection of draft
proposals for additions, see list at

I wanted a quick way for proposal authors to see their work integrated
into the larger schema. There is already an rdfa.html version of the
'schema schema' (currently just snapshotted in the webschemas
mercurial filetree, but eventually it can be served from

The experiment with Michael here was to make a version of that
rdfa.html file with an added Javascript-based navigator for exploring
the schema. There's a homepage for this now in the Wiki,


Source is in Github,

You can try a demo c/o (give it a
while for the schema to load to .js; yes, we know this could be

Once loaded, see the 'explore' and 'extensions' links in the top right
for additional paths through the schema content. The 'explore' route
is more mature.

As I say, this is still work in progress, but worth a look. One idea
would be to integrate the Protovis visualization of that I
made last year (see )

I'm not sure exactly how best this should be integrated with the
workflow around drafting proposals (or other vocabs). One
idea is that terms are annotated with their status, a bit like we've
long done in the FOAF project.  That 2003-era 'vocabulary status'
vocabulary turned out to get quite widely used, even though it was
never itself finished! There's a draft note at which may be relevant

>From a perspective we certainly want to start 'tagging' terms with a bit more metadata, including (e.g. the rNews
additions) information about where they originally came from. So
having that information available in rdfa.html for navigator tools
would be a natural step. So people could fork rdfa.html in github, add
some new vocabulary, tag it with 'status: proposed', and at least
explore it fairly immediately using the Javascript tool. See also
for the snapshot we're working with here.



ps. in addition to this work, at some point there'll also be a
commandline tool (in Python)  for generating example documentation
from drafts of schema proposals

Received on Friday, 20 April 2012 15:17:30 UTC