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Re: vCard - Old vs. New?

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 14:10:34 +0100
Cc: Renato Iannella <renato@nicta.com.au>, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>, Peter Mika <pmika@yahoo-inc.com>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Message-Id: <06D0129B-1F48-4A01-9D0C-10659ED162D4@cyganiak.de>
To: martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org

On 7 May 2009, at 07:51, Martin Hepp (UniBW) wrote:
> (Due to the masses of "old" vCard data, it would not be prudent for  
> any data-consuming application to accept only "new" vCard data  
> anyway - see my SWOOGLE figures from the initial mail - 230,000 vs.  
> 470 datasets - which implies that continuing to create "old"-style  
> vCard should be tolerable.)

This is a questionable conclusion for several reasons.

1. AFAICT the data from Swoogle is outdated. I haven't heard any news  
from the project since 2007. Given that the new vCard-in-RDF work is  
from November 2006, these stats might be misleading, and the sites  
that Swoogle has indexed might have gone offline or changed to the new  

2. FWIW, Sindice reports 12k documents using the old and 254k using  
the new one, but this is not comparable to the Swoogle numbers because  
many of the new hits are from hcard microformats (which Sindice maps  
into the new vCard namespace).

3. Pure document numbers say nothing about how "locked in" a standard  
is. The 230k documents that Swoogle reports might all come from a  
single site, and switching them all to a new namespace might be a five- 
minute thing. (99% of the use that Sindice sees for the old namespace  
is from Josh Tauberer's usgov dataset.)

4. Yahoo reports 1B+ hcard microformats on the Web. All microformat-to- 
RDF converters I'm aware of map them to the new namespace (e.g. any23,  
Swignition, SearchMonkey).

I conclude that the old namespace is obsolete and should be ignored  
and avoided, in the interest of converging on a single namespace.


> Or am I wrong in any of those points?
> Best
> Martin
> PS: Research in the economics of standardization shows that the  
> migration to a new standard requires technology to reduce the  
> switching costs for everybody involved (at least users and  
> application developers). Otherwise, positive network externalities  
> for the established standard cause inertia that may eventually  
> prevent the broad adoption of the new standard. So just publishing a  
> new version may not be sufficient given the strong position of the  
> old vCard spec. We need conversion tools etc.
> Renato Iannella wrote:
>> On 7 May 2009, at 12:08, Sandro Hawke wrote:
>>> Interestingly, it doesn't seem like this question has ever come up
>>> before. If there were a Working Group with this in scope, it could
>>> (following appropriate process) publish a new version at that same
>>> location, but short of that, there's no handy solution. Harry and I
>>> have talked about it, though, and will try to come up with  
>>> something.
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> martin hepp
> e-business & web science research group
> universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen
> e-mail: mhepp@computer.org
> phone:  +49-(0)89-6004-4217
> fax:    +49-(0)89-6004-4620
> www:    http://www.unibw.de/ebusiness/ (group)
> 	http://www.heppnetz.de/ (personal)
> skype:  mfhepp
> Check out the GoodRelations vocabulary for E-Commerce on the Web of  
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Received on Thursday, 7 May 2009 13:11:17 UTC

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