[uf-discuss] haudio contributor

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Feb 5 08:01:19 PST 2008

In message <47A7A457.2090709 at lebleu.org>, Guillaume Lebleu 
<guillaume at lebleu.org> writes

>Andy Mabbett wrote:
>> In message <47A73D8E.30406 at digitalbazaar.com>, Manu Sporny 
>><msporny at digitalbazaar.com> writes
>>> If you really want to make the distinction between a publisher, a 
>>>drummer, a singer, a technician, and someone else, you can always use 
>>>an hCard and utilize the "role" property
>> That presumes that the roles are exposed in the page; they may be if 
>>or, say a producer, but often using the verb ("produced by..."), and 
>>frequently are not, We don't need to say that Beethoven is a composer, 
>>when saying "Beethoven's fifth". That's clear to a human (well, mist 
>>humans of any western education!) from context; but not to a machine.
>> Before anyone cries "hidden metadata", how often to we explicitly say 
>>that "Mabbett" is my family name?, or that "21 High street" is a 
>>street address?
>I agree with others that these are edge cases for microformats.

Everything is an edge case, depending on which point you're looking 

>I don't think you are correct when you say that only a human can infer 
>Beethoven--(composerOf)-->fifth, from "Beethoven's fifth". As far as 
>I've seen in other more lucrative domains than music, a well-trained 
>semantic software extractor working off sufficient content, plain old 
>grammatically-correct english and music metadata would do that job with 
>less sweat than an editor will take to write the content and mark it up 
>in hAudio or something else (not to say to come up with the markup that 
>works in these edge cases in the first place).

Well, clearly I was simplifying. But how many of us have access to "a 
well-trained semantic software extractor", and what "music metadata" is 
widely used?

By your argument, we wouldn't need microformats at all.

>Grammatically-correct english IS semantic markup, in a way.

For some value  of "semantic".

>I think microformats' sweet spot is easing semantic extraction in cases 
>where the level of structure is high, and the plain english context is 

If that's where you want to concentrate your use of microformats, that's 
fine, but that's not how I see them, and I see nothing in any of the 
specs or other defining documentation which restricts them in that way.

>The back of an album that lists tracks is such a case, its entry in 
>Gracenote, a list of friends, electronic business cards, etc. are good 
>examples as well. A plain english critics' review of an album on the 
>other hand with lots of context, but little structure is a case that is 
>economically much better handled using semantic analysis than with "$1M 

"economically much better" from whose perspective?

>I'm not saying that microformats should not try to make formats that 
>work with plain old English or natural language (I've been trying 
>myself), I'm just saying that we may consider the fact that the ROI 
>will most likely be low and other technologies will compete better 
>there, so we might just focus our time on where we have the biggest 
>chance of straightforward adoption, then only look at solving the plain 
>english cases, instead of trying to solve everything at once.

I think that's an opinion - a restrictive one at that - not shared by 
everyone here, certainly not by me, and not supported by past experience 
of developing and using microformats.

Andy Mabbett

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