W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > October 2007

Re: ODF and semantic web

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 11:03:12 -0400 (EDT)
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com>
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, W3C RDFa task force <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0710151049260.6183@tribal.metalab.unc.edu>

On Mon, 15 Oct 2007, Mark Birbeck wrote:

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

I think there was also the word "flaky" :) I know lots of companies doing 
data integration via XSLT, so I'd hestitate to call it flaky.

>>> 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. :)
> 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.

Disagree. The value of RDF will likely on increase as the proportion of 
RDF data on the Web increased, see Open Linked Data Project.

> 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.

That's one use-case, but they could always look for metadata in ODF and 
XHTML using whatever format they feel is widely deployed. That's 
definitely what  Technorati was doing with microformats, and Yahoo! I 

> 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.

Hmm...that's fine, but the world at large doesn't know this, the SWD WG 
charter doesn't know this[1],  and there's  no editor's drafts etc. I can 
easily find with RDFa in plain vanilla XML  examples. So I don't think you 
can blame ODF for not being sure. So, yes  co-ordinate, but be careful 
about posing RDFa as the solution, particularly at this stage in its development.

However, hopefully RDFa and ODF can co-ordinate, 
and regardless, and maybe Fabien's GRDDL transform from RDFa in XML to RDF 
could  be even be used with ODF documents if they adopt a RDFa syntax. I'd 
have to look at the XSLT carefeully, and if ODF has to develop their own 
GRDDL they could use Fabien's as a starting point. I think this is the 
latest URI, but I'd ask Fabien personally [2].

[1] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/swdwg-charter
[2] http://ns.inria.fr/grddl/rdfa/

  > >> 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. :)

Google, being a company based on profit, will likely adopt whatever is 
used in the wild with lots of data, regardless of W3C standardization. 
That could be RDFa, it could be microformats, it could be something 
completely different. Regardless, I do agree co-ordination could help, but
so could a more respectful tone of voice and a lack of presumptions by all 
parties, including RDFa and GRDDL advocates. After all, they all work 
together quite nicely, which is to the credit of all involved.

> Regards,
> Mark


 	Harry Halpin
 	Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Received on Monday, 15 October 2007 15:03:21 UTC

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