[uf-discuss] Re: calendar (and other) items aren't always tidy

ken gebser at speakeasy.net
Tue Nov 27 09:27:35 PST 2007


Thanks for your reply and pointing out some of the things you did.  I
don't want to start a debate, but just say that I've often found it
necessary to consider hypothetical scenarios when doing just about any
kind of programming.  My small example wasn't either at all implausible;
in fact, I'd easily believe that a lot of people are a member of-- have
a role in-- more than one organization, especially should we accept a
family as an organization.  If we choose to ignore plausible
hypothetical examples, then it's hard to see how the program is going to
succeed over the long term without repeated modification, without
perpetually languishing in alphaville.  With a little reasonable
forethought, we'll hopefully work through that.

Just a thought.

On 11/27/2007 09:37 AM Scott Reynen wrote:
> On Nov 26, 2007, at 3:57 PM, ken wrote:
>> The idea of a semantic web is absolutely cool and I'm really looking
>> forward to the day when we have some standards agreed upon and we can
>> all start implementing them.
> I think we're long past that day, not just with microformats but also
> with RDF vocabularies and various other ad-hoc standards.  People have
> been implementing tools based on such standards for years now.
>> At the same time, I want those standards
>> to represent enough forward thinking that we don't end up
>> un-implementing them in favor of something else.  So...
> We generally try to avoid consideration of hypothetical future scenarios
> here, as few of us can predict the future with much accuracy.
>> Maybe I'm thinking too far outside the box, but it looks like the
>> formats proposed thus far all assume that the (html) content we'll be
>> "semanticizing" is going to written in such a way as to accommodate the
>> format, that all the information going (ultimately) into, say, the vCard
>> for one person will be presented discretely from the vCard information
>> for another person.
> This is largely true; however, there has already been some work on
> addressing this issue, both in specific formats, and more generally:
> http://microformats.org/wiki/mfo
>> For example, suppose we have the following text in
>> a (fictitious local sports) webpage:
>> "Bobby and Billy are on the same football team and on Sunday they're
>> playing against the Falcons, whose coach is Ron Smith.  Ron Smith is
>> Bobby and Billy's father.  The brothers are also the star quarterback
>> and star fullback at Pittsfield High."
>> In short, in this paragraph the information on one person is
>> interspersed with information about the others.
> As I suggested above, you're not likely to find much interest here in
> hypothetical examples.  Until we have more real-world examples of this
> kind of interspersed content, it won't be seen as a high-priority
> issue.  If and when it becomes a high-priority issue, we should be able
> to develop a solution without significantly changing existing
> microformat semantics, so we don't have to worry about changing
> everything later.  If you have any real-world examples of this problem,
> I'd encourage you to add them to the MFO page in the wiki.
>> Moreover, though the
>> paragraph doesn't say explicitly, we know that the brothers' last name
>> is Smith.  In realworld texts, the information on people is seldom
>> separated out in a way convenient for the sort of formatting which has
>> been proposed
> Microformats aren't merely proposals.  They're being published widely
> and used effectively in many applications.  One of the ways in which
> this problem is already addressed is the include pattern, which allows
> the inclusion of content outside the root container:
> http://microformats.org/wiki/include-pattern
>> I would think, too, that a lot of the work
>> that will arise after semantic formatting is implemented will be in
>> older, already published texts, stuff that can't be rewritten with
>> semantic formatting in mind.
> Indeed, that's one of the key goals of microformats - they don't require
> significant revision of existing HTML to use.
> Peace,
> Scott
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Thou shalt not molest a stranger, nor afflict him: for
yourselves also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
		--Exodus 22:21

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