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Re: ODF and semantic web

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 15:06:17 +0100
Message-ID: <a707f8300710150706k4fcbcf7bwfca00708072bf170@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Harry Halpin" <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Cc: "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>, "W3C RDFa task force" <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>

Hi Harry,

Jumping to your last point first:

> P.S.: At least where I come from, "hack" is a compliment, so thanks :)
> Regardless, I would be careful with labelling things "hacks" as somehow
> not useful. [snip]

I don't see how you can interpret my comments as saying that GRDDL
wasn't useful:

> > GRDDL is a necessary hack to allow legacy mark-up to be made
> > 'semantic'.

Unless you think I don't want legacy mark-up to be 'made semantic', I
don't see how you can imagine I mean 'hack' in any sense other than
the one you have used. :)

> It's pretty clear as it stands having any amount of metadata in RDF in ODF
> is a major boon for the Semantic Web, and we should applaud Bruce and
> others for working on it.

With great respect to everyone involved, I don't think it's a case of
"to applaud or not to applaud"; I'm sure we're all working very hard,
but hopefully we also have thick skins. :) My feeling is that we've
had RDF for a long time now, so to simply 'applaud' any additional use
of RDF as if it is _by its very existence_ contributing to a wider
goal is a little meaningless.

To illustrate, Google already indexes a wide array of documents that
it finds when crawling; would it be easier to convince Google to index
the metadata in ODF and XHTML if it used the same handful of
attributes, or would it be easier to convince them if we said 'here is
the GRDDL transform for document type A, here is the GRDDL transform
for document type B', and so on.

Obviously we don't know the answer for sure, but my comments are
motivated by the belief that (a) a generic solution could be adopted
more quickly, and (b) it would be adopted more quickly if the big
standards bodies were seen to be coordinating. :)

> The problem is that there is *no* standard for
> embedding RDF in-line in generic XML vocabularies like ODF, as RDFa is
> aimed at XHTML.

RDFa was always aimed at 'mark-up languages' more generally. It just
so happens that its first major outing was in XHTML 2, and more
recently the focus has been on XHTML 1.x.

> I think ODF is on the right track here, and even if ODF
> and RDFa converge on a sort of common syntax for doing this...

But this is the odd thing here...the little bit of syntax that I've
seen seems very close. It would almost be better to be completely
different. :)

> ... I have no
> doubt that a simple XSLT embedded at the namespace doc for ODF that allows
> one to extrtact the inline ODF RDF into RDF/XML will be very, very useful
> so that other RDF processors can access this inline meta-data. I imagine
> that would be not difficult and hopefully someone in ODF can write that
> script quickly. And that, is GRDDL :)

Of course...but I guess that brings us back to the Google question. :)



  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 Monday, 15 October 2007 14:06:30 UTC

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