W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-talk@w3.org > November to December 2000

Re: Semantic Document Framework(s)

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 11:47:25 -0000
Message-ID: <006e01c04a43$57ceaa80$05da93c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Aaron Swartz" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <www-talk@w3.org>
The best bit of this reply is my "what an SW WYSIWYG editor should do" rant,
at [1]

> I think you may be missing my point. People don't like _writing metadata_.
> They do not write it in their house, they do not write it with a mouse,
> do not write it when in beta, they just don't write up metadata! ;-)

Then either:
1. We give them no choice and if they *don't* write metadata, their pages
are never found (which they wouldn't be on an SW).
2. We use logic processors to extract and write the metadata.

> > How do you transform HTML into WML 1.0/1.1? You can't because they are
> > different, HTML is so much more complex than WML.
> Speaking as the author of a piece of software that converts HTML to plain
> ASCII, I'm pretty sure HTML can be transformed into nearly anything. ;-)

Speaking as someone who has tried a million times to make a useful XHTML to
WML conversion tool, I can tell you that you lose an awful lot of the data,
becuase images, scripts, forms and so on, cant be readily converted. Not
saying it's impossible, just very very hard.

> I believe what you're looking for is the stated goal of XHTML modules, and
> without any of the complexity.

A modular form of XHTML wouldn't be XHTML 1.1, it would be WML 2 or
whatever, and hopefully, it will display on both kinds of browsers: no need
for conversion.

> >> Better semantic tagging helps, though.
> > Precisely: if you had a semantic XML source, you could go to either
> > WML easily.
> Yes, but what format do is the source in? If it's a generic format, you
> a lot of meaning and you're likely duplicating the goal of XHTML. If it's
> specific format, then you have to rebuild XSLT, converters, etc. for each
> new file. It's a tricky problem.

I suggest we walk the middle line, use a generic format based on RDF so that
you still have meaning.

> > The main fact is that HTML is a fairly presentation based markup
> > that says very little about its content; the second point is that the SW
> > will require some kind of (semantic) output medium. Why not do both in
> > go?
> Because they have two very different audiences, requiring nearly two
> completely separate versions?

No, if the SW is to evolve from the WWW, then a Semantic output media will
evolve from HTML Q.E.D.
The audience to the SW will be the same as to the WWW, it's just that the SW
will be ten times better.

> I wish it were possible, but I just don't see how to do it. I'm thinking
> my typical (really bad) SW example: weather data. I want to state that
> 70 degrees today in Chicago. How?
> HTML: "November 8, 2000: It's a nice chilly 70 degrees here in Chicago."
>  XML: <weather>
>         <location>Chicago</location>
>         <temperature>70F</temperature>
>         <date>2000-11-8</date>
>       </weather>
> SDF?: <weather><date c="2000-11-8">November 8, 2000</date>: It's a nice
> chilly <temp c="70F">70</temp> degrees here in
> <location>Chicago</location>.</weather>
> Oy, what a mess?

[1] This is an excellent example. Your SDF is almost correct, except it
needs namespaces:
<p xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<weather xmlns="http://mysite.com/myns">
<date c="2000-11-8">November 8, 2000</date>: It's a nice chilly <temp
c="70F">70</temp> degrees here in <location>Chicago</location>.</weather>
And really it should have Schemas, but ignore that for now.
Now, the first point to make is that you'd just type the text into an SW
WYSIWYG editor:
"November 8, 2000: It's a nice chilly 70 degrees here in Chicago."
Then, if it hadn't already been recognized by the editor, you'd tell it that
the quote was about the weather, and it would automatically link to your
namespace, then you'd select the important parts: date, temp and location,
and tell the editor what they are: (except your editor alrady recognizes
them because it has alrady consulted your namespace, and searched the SW for
key phrases, highlighted them, and maked them up accordingly). Could
somebody please write me an editor like that? I'd pay good money!
The steps again:
1. Type in your text.
2. Tell the editor it's a weather statement.
3. The editor puts in the correct namespace, and marks up the text
4. Publish your document.
5. Document in viewable in HTML browsers, and serves a purpoe on the SW.

> True, but RDF allows people to write metadata at any time, anywhere.
> trying to stick them right in the original document!

No, you can always XLink to it: I don't mind! In XHTML you could link to an
RDF file with the profile attribute in <head>.

> > We just need to do more *doing*, and that's all I'm trying to achieve
> > SDF.
> Agreed. To a better Web,

Let us hope.
I hope these conversations keep going, they tend to fizzle out after a week
or so...

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
The Semantic Web: A Resource - http://xhtml.waptechinfo.com/swr/
WAP Tech Info - http://www.waptechinfo.com/
Mysterylights.com - http://www.mysterylights.com/
"The Internet; is that thing still around?" - Homer J. Simpson
Received on Thursday, 9 November 2000 06:51:13 UTC

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