[uf-discuss] Potential for Microformats.org to work with W3C and RDFa Task Force

Martin McEvoy martin at weborganics.co.uk
Fri Aug 29 05:32:11 PDT 2008

Hello Manu, all

Manu I think you need to explain that RDFa is a way of expressing 
semantics in  html, not just a way of expressing  RDF annotations in html

Manu Sporny wrote:
> Ben Ward wrote:
>>> It will take a couple of weeks to give examples of how this will all
>>> work, but I wanted to get feedback from this community before
>>> proceeding. We have a fantastic opportunity in front of us now - who in
>>> this community thinks that we should work with the W3C on this endeavor?
>> I'm not sure I completely see the benefit in this, and seeing your
>> examples would be very helpful in getting a better idea of what you're
>> proposing. 
> I'll get a set of examples written up soon, then.
>> From your bullet points, it seems to suggest taking
>> microformat vocabularies and expressing them in RDFa, rather than HTML?
>> It seems redundant for publishers.
> No, the markup would still happen in HTML, using Microformat properties,
> but instead of using @class, we MAY (not MUST) use @typeof, @property,
> and @content (in the case of machine-readable data) to express
> Microformats.

Its interesting to point out that most people who publish Microformats, 
are not really expressing any semantics at all, @class doesn't expresses 
any semantics without meta data profiles and most publishers do not use 
them,  yes some search engines can pick up hcards and calendar events 
but really that's about it. any other Microformats are Ignored mostly.
> The key being that these attributes are specifically designed to contain
> semantic data. Here's a brief example showing how we could get rid of
> the ABBR design problem by re-using RDFa's @content attribute. Note that
> this would work in HTML 4.01, XHTML1.1 and XHTML2:
> <div typeof="haudio">
>    <span property="title">Start Wearing Purple</span> by
>    <span property="contributor">Gogol Bordello</span>
>    <span property="published" content="20020514">May 14th, 2002</span>
> </div>
That is a good example of how microformats could be used in RDFa 
everything (to me) seems to be in the right place.

@typeof can include any root Microformat Class names
@property is any Microformat Property name
@rel is any microformat rel value

Microformats Map pretty well in this way

>> However, I do have a somewhat related issue that you might consider part
>> of this effort. Some discussions I've had lately revealed usefulness in
>> being able to _map_ microformats into RDF, for the purpose of combining
>> microformats with other RDF vocabularies in a back-end somewhere (so,
>> conversion for processing, rather than publishing. Publishing remains in
>> HTML where it is most effective).
> Publishing would stay in HTML, where it is most effective. Nobody is
> suggesting that it move elsewhere - RDFa follows the same principles as
> Microformats in this case.
> As for the mapping between uF/RDF Vocabularies, I started a page to do
> just that back in October 2007:
> http://wiki.digitalbazaar.com/en/Mapping-ufs-to-rdfa
> Want me to move it to Microformats.org?

I think you should Manu, so the rest of the community can read your most 
excellent work :-)
>> I'm told that RDF ‘versions’ of vcard and icalendar are out of date
>> compared to the microformats. 
> I don't think they are, but could be mistaken...
> The last update to VCARD was on 22 February 2001:
>     http://www.w3.org/TR/vcard-rdf
> and the vocabulary:
>     http://www.w3.org/2001/vcard-rdf/3.0#
> The last update to iCalendar was on 29 September 2005
>     http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfcal/
> and the vocabulary:
>     http://www.w3.org/2002/12/cal#
>> As such, it strikes me that rather than
>> maintaining duplicate specifications, it would instead make sense to
>> develop a set of standard transformations so that any microformat can be
>> transformed from HTML to RDF, without requiring duplicate effort to
>> maintain another spec. This I'm sure would relate closely to GRDDL,
>> since that already deals with transformation.
> Yes, agreed, that would be useful.
>> Note, I'm talking about mapping rules, not separate specs. For example,
>> we have the ‘jCard’ page on the wiki, which I still feel should be more
>> generic ‘JSON Mapping Rules’ page that can cover parsing from any
>> format, not just hcard. 
> We're also working on that in our company, but internally for now. There
> is the issue of a generic object representation format for semantic data
> objects. We have a generalized RDF-based representation for RDFa and
> Microformats now... but didn't think this community would be interested
> in such a solution. Should a wiki-page be started on various "JSON
> Mapping Rules" between uF/RDFa to JSON?
> -- manu

Best Wishes

Martin McEvoy
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