[uf-new] How many examples is enough (was: hSet survey findings and future direction)

Scott Reynen scott at makedatamakesense.com
Thu May 31 09:08:41 PDT 2007

On May 30, 2007, at 7:31 PM, Joe Andrieu wrote:

> I think the non-voting by most of us on this list is voting that  
> this issue isn't worth solving/dealing with at this time.

I agree.

On May 30, 2007, at 8:07 PM, Manu Sporny wrote:

>> I really agree with this -- I don't particularly think grouping is a
>> huge problem here, and I don't think tackling this "up front"  
>> without a
>> whole ton of prior art is a good idea.
> How much prior art do we need to prove that there is a problem  
> here? We
> already have 68 examples. I'd like to know how much a "whole ton"
> amounts to...

Prior art and examples are two different things.  Examples tell us  
what kinds of *content* has been published.  Prior art tells us what  
kinds of *semantics* have been used in that publishing.  Others have  
pointed out some successful prior art using task-specific grouping  
semantics, e.g hfeed, hcalendar, and unless I've missed something we  
have no prior art on the other side, suggesting that generic grouping  
semantics actually work in practice.  Even XOXO is not especially  
popular, and that's a bit more specific than what's proposed as hSet.

We're not doing "if you build it, they will come" standards here;  
we're focusing on "low-hanging fruit," with a high likelihood of  
adoption due to widespread publishing (e.g. contact data), well- 
established semantics (e.g. vCard), and compelling use-cases (e.g.  
create vCards from web pages).  Widespread publishing, while  
important, is not alone enough to suggest likely adoption.  Without  
adoption, the best standard in the world is a waste of time.

That said, here's a proposal for solving the hSet problem: use RDFa  
[1].  That gives you all the prior art and compelling use cases of  
the RDF world, and no need for new semantics, nor even new parsing  
tools.  The drawbacks are pretty much the same drawbacks people have  
been pointing out with the hSet proposals.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-rdfa-primer/

Scott Reynen

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