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Posts tagged with: micrordf

Back from SemanticCamp London

SemanticCamp London was just great.
SemanticCamp BadgeLike many other SemWeb weavers, I followed Tom's call for last week-end's SemanticCamp London. So much fun! I used the opportunity to discuss a number of ideas I've been pondering for quite some time, and it was great to be able to get more direct insights from microformats community members. I had the impression that the event helped bringing RDFers and microformateers a little closer together. At least in the conversations I had. There was no childish "your approach is flawed/too limited/doomed to fail", and I think I didn't hear a single (serious) "fundamentally". A lot of "I prefer", "I don't like", and a number of tongue-in-cheek comments, but that's cool as part of a starting dialog. Much better than the progress-blocking arrogance we've seen for much too long (in both camps, btw).

I tried to substantiate this "common goal, complementary tech" notion with two little interactive demos and a tech pitch:
  • On saturday we created SPARQLBot, an IRC Bot based on ARC/Trice that aggregates XFN, hCard, and FOAF data, and lets you explore your "online social graph" with simple IRC commands. SPARQLBot is a nice example how the huge amount of high-quality microformats data can be combined with RDF technologies such as flexible storage and simple querying. (And that it only took a few hours to implement a working demo also shows how SemWeb technologies can significantly improve Web app development.)
  • I pulled an all-nighter from Sat to Sun and managed to demo the knowee beta on Sunday. There are still a few bugs to fix, but an official announcement should come soon now. knowee allows you to consolidate portable social network data (XFN, hCard, FOAF, feeds) and to manage the collected information via a freebase-like hyperdata editor.
  • The third thing is what might be called "micrordf". I didn't run a session, but discussed the idea with a couple of people and think it's worthwhile pursuing. Although certain RDF solutions could be really handy for the µF community, there are a couple of things that are considered deal breakers. Among those are the namespace prefix mechanism (esp. in any of the current RDF-in-HTML proposals, where non-predictable prefixes break reliable self-containment and CSS styling) and the need to map HTML-encoded information to non-identical and unstable RDF Schemas. What I was trying to figure out during SemanticCamp was the possibility of creating a simplified, but still RDF-compatible mechanism that would be acceptable to microformateers. It's essentially a simple, intermediate structure to represent any microformat (no need for a different syntax), and possibly also POSH data. What that would bring to the microformats community is the ability to auto-create universal parsers, a unified mofo-style API, and a proper test suite, which still seems to be lacking. The RDF crowd would get a way to access microformats as resource descriptions, with the ability to map those to their RDF vocab of choice. It could perhaps even be possible to auto-generate GRDDL XSLTs from the micrordf definitions. More on this soon.

As Yves put it already: Yay for SemanticCamp!


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