Chatlog 2011-06-09

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13:59:18 <RRSAgent> RRSAgent has joined #rdfa
13:59:18 <RRSAgent> logging to
13:59:20 <trackbot> RRSAgent, make logs world
13:59:20 <Zakim> Zakim has joined #rdfa
13:59:22 <trackbot> Zakim, this will be 7332
13:59:22 <Zakim> ok, trackbot; I see SW_RDFa()10:00AM scheduled to start in 1 minute
13:59:23 <trackbot> Meeting: RDF Web Applications Working Group Teleconference
13:59:23 <trackbot> Date: 09 June 2011
14:00:22 <MacTed> MacTed has joined #rdfa
14:00:29 <Zakim> SW_RDFa()10:00AM has now started
14:00:30 <Zakim> + +44.123.456.aaaa
14:00:32 <Zakim> + +1.612.217.aabb
14:00:36 <Zakim> - +1.612.217.aabb
14:00:38 <Zakim> + +1.612.217.aabb
14:00:39 <Benjamin> zakim, I am aaaa
14:00:39 <Zakim> +Benjamin; got it
14:00:40 <ShaneM> zakim, aabb is ShaneM
14:00:40 <Zakim> +ShaneM; got it
14:00:59 <Zakim> + +1.781.273.aacc
14:01:03 <MacTed> Zakim, code?
14:01:03 <Zakim> the conference code is 7332 (tel:+1.617.761.6200 tel:+ tel:+44.203.318.0479), MacTed
14:01:06 <Zakim> +??P17
14:01:12 <manu> zakim, I am ??P17
14:01:12 <Zakim> +manu; got it
14:01:21 <MacTed> Zakim, aacc is OpenLink_Software
14:01:21 <Zakim> +OpenLink_Software; got it
14:01:25 <MacTed> Zakim, OpenLink_Software is temporarily me
14:01:25 <Zakim> +MacTed; got it
14:01:27 <MacTed> Zakim, mute me
14:01:27 <Zakim> MacTed should now be muted
14:01:40 <manu> zakim, who is on the call?
14:01:40 <Zakim> On the phone I see Benjamin, ShaneM, MacTed (muted), manu
14:02:15 <manu> Agenda:
14:02:23 <manu> Present: Benjamin Adrian, Manu Sporny, Shane McCarron, Steven, Ted Thibodeau
14:02:25 <manu> Chair: manu
14:02:28 <manu> Scribe: Benjamin
14:02:34 <manu> scribenick: Benjamin
14:06:21 <manu> Regrets: Ivan
14:06:30 <Steven> zakim, dial steven-617
14:06:30 <Zakim> ok, Steven; the call is being made
14:06:32 <Zakim> +Steven
14:06:34 <Benjamin> Topic: announcement findings/effects
14:06:44 <Steven> Sorry for being late
14:06:50 <MacTed> Zakim, unmute me
14:06:50 <Zakim> MacTed should no longer be muted
14:07:14 <Benjamin> manu: anything new about
14:07:14 <manu> Here's the site that we'll be discussing today:
14:08:06 <manu> Here is the vocabulary:
14:08:10 <Benjamin> manu: google microsoft and yahoo have launched It is a combination of picking a single syntax (Microdata) and a single vocabulary describing things that people search for.
14:09:22 <Benjamin> manu: They intend to create a shared markup and data vocabulary and make it easier for publishers easily decide which vocabulary to use - by mandating one. They think Microdata is the best balance between expressivity and simplicity. If you want to use - you MUST use Microdata and you MUST use their vocabulary.
14:10:08 <Benjamin> manu: people were asking: Why is Google forcing this choice of use of vocabulary and syntax? The minutes from the meeting yesterday are here:
14:10:51 <Benjamin> ... Google will provide legacy support for RDFa, but for latest features - Microdata is necessary.
14:11:14 <Benjamin> Steven: Other WorkingGroups are concerned and disturbed by this announcement.
14:11:55 <ShaneM> q+ to be devils advocate
14:12:19 <manu> ack ShaneM
14:12:22 <Zakim> ShaneM, you wanted to be devils advocate
14:12:30 <Benjamin> ShaneM: There is a lot of vocabularies that already exists. If they map to it, that's fine.
14:13:25 <manu> q+ to elaborate
14:14:25 <Benjamin> Shane: Google should use foaf for example, they should use GoodRelations.
14:15:46 <Benjamin> manu: Three search engines agree on supporting a single vocabulary in a specific markup. This is a great use case for them - but not for the rest of the Web. Sure people will be able to search for these things, but what happens when somebody wants to use RDFa to markup a Google concept? With Microdata, it becomes increasingly difficult to mix vocabularies because you have to use full URIs - there are no CURIEs.
14:16:05 <ShaneM> q+ I forgot be be devils advocate
14:16:14 <ShaneM> q+ to say I forgot to be devils advocate
14:17:02 <Benjamin> manu: The danger is that RDFa content will no longer be viewed by the public as being valid. Google only supports Microdata - that's the message that seems to have been picked up by the public. This announcement will affect what RDFa publishers such as Drupal will generate - there is already a project that rips out all RDFa in preference for Microdata. This happened almost overnight because people trust Google to do the right thing - even though in this case, it's questionable what they're doing.
14:19:26 <manu> ack manu
14:19:26 <Zakim> manu, you wanted to elaborate
14:19:30 <manu> ack shaneM
14:19:30 <Zakim> ShaneM, you wanted to say I forgot to be devils advocate
14:19:31 <MacTed> q+
14:20:53 <Benjamin> Shane: Is this announcement really a bad thing for the Semantic Web? Would it not be better to support the Microdata community in publishing good semantic data? 
14:20:55 <manu> (Notes that that is Shane's Devil's advocate position)
14:20:59 <Benjamin> Manu: Yes, this is very good news for structured data on the Web. Several concerns: 1) Why did Google pick a winner without having hard data to back up their decision, 2) Should Google be able to pick a winner this early in the process?, 3) Microdata isn't even a W3C REC, we know it will change before it's out of REC, 4) Centralized vocabularies have failed before, what makes this centralized vocabulary different, 5) Does this give the top search companies too much power to dictate how the world models information?
14:21:23 <manu> ack MacTed
14:22:19 <manu> q+ to disagree about Drupal case
14:23:51 <manu> Ted: There are going to be many plugins that are going to support Microdata because of this - that's fine, it's not entirely a bad thing - but they're shooting themselves in the foot wrt the bigger picture. For example, there is nothing to stop CMS systems by publishing Microdata for the "GoogleBot" User Agent (for search only) and publishing RDFa for everything else. If they want SEO, great - use and Microdata. If you want to publish real data with easy vocabulary mixing on your website, use RDFa.
14:23:55 <manu> ack manu
14:23:55 <Zakim> manu, you wanted to disagree about Drupal case
14:25:01 <Benjamin> manu: Drupal has to be responsive, so they will exchange RDFa with Microdata if their community asks for it. We should take this as a very serious issue for structured data on the Web. Microdata solves the simple case, but makes the more complex cases incredibly difficult to mark up.
14:26:42 <Benjamin> ted: When the google bot hits your side, it identifies himself, so that the server can provide the data in a form the bot wants to see - Microdata for Googlebot, RDFa for everyone else.
14:28:05 <Benjamin> manu: we should conclude that really affects us so that we should not ignore it.
14:30:28 <Benjamin> manu: had said a couple of really disturbing things like: You can't use RDFa and Microdata on the same page. They retracted that statement yesterday as mistake, but I'm concerned that the initial announcement will stay in the public's consciousness as is the case with many of these sorts of announcements.
14:31:19 <Benjamin> manu: Second: Search Engines could just use RDFa 1.1 on - the technology is already there, they already parse it. Perhaps we can convince them, but the RDFa community will also need to step up and tell Google and what they want.
14:31:35 <manu> This could be one avenue:
14:31:48 <Benjamin> ... we could provide examples in RDFa and microdata as long as we know that Google is indexing the RDFa.
14:32:25 <Benjamin> ... Michael hausenblas, Richard Cyganiak and folks from DERI already created a mapping from to - excellent work.
14:32:48 <Benjamin> ... so we can map it similar on e.g.,
14:32:48 <Benjamin> Topic: Next Steps
14:31:20 <Benjamin> manu: We need to take this very seriously, re-consider all input that we've gotten to this point - think if there is a way to simplify RDFa so that it is acceptable to the search teams at Microsoft and Google. We should consider every option that we can think of - including ones we've tabled before.
14:32:48 <Benjamin> Lots of discussion of all options on the table
15:00:00 <Benjamin> manu: We will put the candidate rec on hold for now and try to reason with Google/Microsoft and Yahoo. Most of the feedback on this announcement has been negative. We need to show them that they've just hurt a number of communities that have been convincing their organizations that structured data is the way to go. We'll see what their technical reasons are for not also supporting RDFa or Microformats - up to now, the reasons on their site don't add up. This has introduced a great deal of confusion into the market - if Google and Microsoft and Yahoo's goal was to speed adoption, it is having the opposite effect.
15:02:52 <Zakim> -ShaneM
15:02:54 <Zakim> -manu
15:02:55 <Zakim> -Steven
15:02:57 <Zakim> -MacTed
15:02:58 <Zakim> -Benjamin
15:02:58 <Zakim> SW_RDFa()10:00AM has ended
15:03:00 <Zakim> Attendees were +44.123.456.aaaa, +1.612.217.aabb, Benjamin, ShaneM, +1.781.273.aacc, manu, MacTed, Steven
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