Friday, November 11, 2011

Using RDFa 1.1 Lite with Schema.org

As a result of our continued discussions and collaborations with publishers, implementers and standards-makers, we're pleased to give advance notice of a new way of adopting schema.org's structured data vocabulary. W3C's RDF Web Applications group are right now putting the finishing touches to the latest version of the RDFa standard. This work opens up new possibilities also for developers who intend to work with schema.org data using RDF-based tools and Linked Data, and defines a simplified publisher-friendly 'Lite' view of RDFa.

Early adopters can follow the in-progress drafts (rdfa-core, rdfa-lite) while the W3C group work through the remaining details. We hope that our support for 'RDFa Lite', alongside Microdata, will allow publishers to focus more on what they want to say with their data, rather than on the details of its specific encoding as markup. We also want to take a moment to thank the members of the RDFa community for taking on board our feedback; making standards is hard work, and we believe this latest version of RDFa is a major contribution to the Web of structured data.

16 comments:

  1. Fabulous news and an important step forward!

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  2. I'm really pleased to see this.

    But I'm wondering how you're planning to deal with the distributed extensibility that is the key value-added of RDF in general? E.g. I'm one of the people that wrote the spec for the BIBO vocabularly for bibliographic and citation data. This reuses a lot of more general vocabularies, such as Dublin Core. I'd very much prefer to promote use of that in RDFa Lite, and be assured search engines could make sense of it, rather than to have to go through a schema.org process that is closed, centralized, and not really designed (I assume) for domain-specific vocabularies.

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  3. @Bruce: HTML authors are free to use the extensibility of the syntax they use. RDFa is by nature very multi vocabulary friendly, and you don't have to wait for any schema.org process to start mixing schema.org, BIBO and other vocabularies in your webpages. Schema.org does not claim to be the place for domain specific vocabularies, they instead focus on describing popular concepts. See the discussions going on the public-vocabs mailing list [1] and for example this message [2].

    Steph.

    [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-vocabs/
    [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-vocabs/2011Nov/0004.html

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  4. @Bruce - step by step, I think. Schema.org is all about simplifying things for mass adoption. At some point we'll have to find a natural balance --- it's obvious that a single schema can't describe everything in our world. But at the same time, we don't want to force authors and publishers to remember the details of dozens of namespaces, their identifiers and modeling conventions. Having an extensible data model and a substantive shared schema is a good first step. The search engines behind schema.org can't collectively commit to do something useful with every combination of RDF vocabularies out there. But by adopting a common model and base schema, we make it possible for consensus to grow, and for each of those services to make use of additional RDF data when it makes sense for them. My personal hope is that schema.org grows into a broader 'documentation centre' role and that it might begin to document common patterns from other vocabularies too. But it is early days. I'm glad to see discussion moving on from details of encoding/notation to vocabulary design and schemas...

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  5. Fair enough. Would be great if at least schema.org search engine implementers could pick up the really common, and generally useful, Dublin Core stuff (title, etc.) as a first start.

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  7. Is this require to have webmaster to set up? I want to setup as quickly as possible to my blog, please guide me.

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  9. @Sandy - no, for now this is all optional, ... more a discussion amongst early adopters and people working on the underlying standards. The 'getting started' guide on schema.org at http://schema.org/docs/gs.html is probably the best entry point for you.


    Meanwhile, standards folk might be interested to read Ivan Herman's comments over at W3C:

    http://www.w3.org/QA/2011/11/schemaorg_and_rdfa_11_lite_how.html

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  11. @sandy I Just found a new website that might be useful http://getschema.org

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  12. If I have a webpage with a collection of short stories. Would this be how I do the hierarchy (just shorthanded the code, badly)
    body
    div
    itemtype: Webpage
    itemprop=CollectionPage: h1 short stories /h1
    itemprop=description: A collection of short stories by me.

    div
    itemtype: Thing
    itemprop=CreativeWork: h2 Title of first story /h2
    itemprop=author: Aj
    itemprop=illustrator: Aj
    itemprop=genre: Children's
    /div

    div
    itemtype: Thing
    itemprop=CreativeWork: h2 Title of second story /h2
    itemprop=author: Aj
    itemprop=illustrator: Aj
    itemprop=genre: Children's
    /div
    /div
    /body

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Aj

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