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Re: Petitioning ISWC to allow Web friendly formats

From: Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>
Date: Mon, 06 May 2013 17:07:22 +0200
Message-ID: <5187C72A.8080500@csarven.ca>
To: "beyond-the-pdf@googlegroups.com" <beyond-the-pdf@googlegroups.com>, Linking Open Data <public-lod@w3.org>, SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>
On 05/06/2013 03:33 PM, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
> On 5/6/13 9:24 AM, "Sarven Capadisli" <info@csarven.ca> wrote:
>> On 05/06/2013 02:55 PM, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
>>> What format(s) are being used today that are not "web friendly"?
>>> PDF, for example, is a formal and official part of the open web.  In
>>> fact,
>>> it is a normative reference in the HTML5 specification from the W3C.
>> "Web friendly" here refers to native to the Web.
> Again, PDF is an official part of the open web - as defined by the W3C.
> How much more "native" is there??

I think you are well-aware of what I'm trying to say but I'll clarify. 
HTML works better with the rest of the Web architecture than PDF. The 
point of using HTML as one of the important blocks is that; it can be 
semantically enriched with RDFa, Microdata, or microformats. The same 
document can be presented in a variety of ways with CSS for each 
consuming device if needed. JavaScript can be used to bring in 
additional interaction with the document e.g., one changes the sample 
data on the page to see how an algorithm works. A whole suite of 
technologies that can work in a variety of ways to represent or mine the 
underlying data.

PDF is a standard and also welcomed on the Web. However, it will always 
be a second class format where one has to interact with it. There is too 
much overhead for consumption. How many browser extensions are there 
again to display a PDF in the browser?

That's the nativity of HTML that I'm talking about. Is the contrast clear?

>> Given that generalization, PDF is not as Web friendly as HTML and
>> friends,
> That is a definition that YOU have chosen. It is not one that is used by
> any official standards body, government regulation, etc. As such, it's use
> creates confusion amongst the uninformed user and that's certainly
> something none of us want.

You are right. That is the definition that I chose, but I'm not the only 
one. If you will, it is an axiom in order for us to talk about other 
things. If we can agree on a more precise axiom, I'm welcome to it. I 
sincerely did not intend to cause confusion!

>> Proving this is a trivial exercise as we simply have to
>> look at how information is exchanged today across the globe, and how our
>> communication has changed drastically (arguably for the better).
> And that's certainly an excellent endeavor.  But you need to be sure to
> phrase things in that manner or in ways that properly and accurately
> reflect your goals.

You are right. I'm trying :)

> If you want to talk about (X)HTML-like formats as a set of formats for
> content delivery - that's perfectly reasonable and enables you and others
> to focus on the specifics of your desires (and the issues that it also
> brings up).   But using a term such as "web friendly" says nothing and
> only creates confusion.

I thought my description was self-evident but I surely see that it can 
not only cause confusion but be incorrect. I'll work towards clarifying.

The underlying discussion here is that, as researchers working on the 
Semantic Web / Linked Data (if you can bare with me on this for the time 
being), many, like myself, should have some entitlement to submit their 
publicly funded works to conferences that are about the Web technologies.

Again, this is a mere request from conferences to say "we also welcome 
HTML and friends for research submissions". If this request is in any 
way inappropriate or so far-fetched to making contributions to the field 
using our own technologies, I'd love to first know precisely why, and 
second, figure out how to work towards it.

No one is trying to stop anyone from submitting their work in PDF. I 
would appreciate it if we are not stopped from submitting our work in a 
way that plays well with the rest of the Web stack.

Is that reasonable?


Received on Monday, 6 May 2013 15:07:54 UTC

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