Sunday, May 17, 2009

OpenWeb 05/18/2009 (a.m.)

  • Google "Rich Snippets" is a new presentation of HTML snippets that applies Google's algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages. Rich Snippets give end-users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. Google is currently supporting a very limited subset of data about reviews and people. When searching for a product or service, users can easily see reviews and ratings, and when searching for a person, they'll get help distinguishing between people with the same name. It's a simple change to the display of search results, yet our experiments have shown that users find the new data valuable. For this to work though, both Web-masters and Web-workers have to annotate thier pages with structured data in a standard format. Google snippets supports microformats and RDFa. Existing Web data can be wrapped with some additional tags to accomplish this. Notice that Google avoids mention of RDF and the W3C's vision of a "Semantic Web" where Web objects are fully described in machine readable semantics. Over at the WHATWG group, where work on HTML5 continues, Google's Ian Hickson has been fighting RDFa and the Semantic Web in what looks to be an effort to protect the infamous Google algorithms. RDFa provides a means for Web-workers, knowledge-workers, line-of-business managers and document generating end-users to enrich their HTML+ with machine semantics. The idea being that the document experts creating Web content can best describe to search engine and content management machines the objects-of-information used. The google algorithms provide a proprietary semantics of this same content. The best solution to the tsunami of conten the Web has wrought would be to combine end-user semantic expertise with Google algorithms. Let's hope Google stays the RDFa course and comes around to recognize the full potential of organizing the world's information with the input of content providers. One thing the world desperately needs are powerful desktop editors capable of

    tags: rdfa, rich-snippets, google, html5, odf, ooxml, w3c

  • tags: no_tag

    • Just a note about the diigolet cutoff problem: i wrote my lengthy missive by clicking on the comment link in the "Future of the Web" eMail notification: Could Adobe be open-sourcing Flash? - Computerworld Blogs - Add comment Tags: Adobe flash open source | shared by Paul Merrell 2009-05-17 03:46:22 Kind of a shortcut to get around the diigolet limitations. - post by garyedwards
    • Hey Paul, watch out for diigolet. It does cut your comments off!!!! If you post the comment first, and then go to Diigo later, you can complete the full edit. I have notified Wade and Maggie about this killer problem. - post by garyedwards
    • Paul, you forgot WebKit! This is now a three horse race; Adobe "Flash-Flex-Air", Microsoft XAML-Silverlight, and the Apple-Google-Nokia-Palm-RiMM "Webkit". Novell's "Moonlight" is to Siliverlight what "WiNE" is to the Win32 API. Adobe has a long history of gradual open sourcing, with PDF a good example. What they seem to do is to milk a proprietary technology for all it's worth, developing best they can a "platform" of tools, services, developers and end user dependencies. As competitors and emerging technologies grind away at the proprietary platform, Adobe hastens the transition to "open source / open technology" basis. This allows them to milk the platform even longer. Trust is an important part in the establishment of any platform. Submitting parts of a proprietary technology to an open standards consortia helps offset developer and end user fears of lock-in. Adobe seems to have mastered this aspect of the quiet trap. They somehow manage to get these technologies into an open standards - open tech footing / future direction, before the accusations start. I think it's also true that Adobe is careful and in many ways respectful in how they "milk" a platform. Especially compared to the ruthless way Microsoft squeezes users, developers and trading partners. (Once the platform is established though, dependencies and the cost of moving become far more important factors than "trust"). One other point is that WebKit has won this race for next generation "Rich Internet Application" (RiA). Silverlight and Flash are browser plug-ins capable of running as standalone run-times or, application based add-ons. WebKit didn't win by challenging Flash and Silverlight in the RiA sense of a highly graphical and fluid interface. The way the WebKit community won was by re-writing the basic browser components to accommodate three things: ..... the browser as a "rich internet application" OS ...... target the Web document model with the webkit API for a highly graphical, multi-dimensionally interactive, backwards compatible but classically structured document advance. This is HTML+ (HTML5, CSS4, SVG/Canvas, JS, jQuery). ..... Own the edge of the Web (devices), and let that emerging marketshare whipsaw the document model for the greater Web. Oh yeah. WebKit is an open technology that was open source from the gitgo. The way they deal with vendor dominated standards consortia is to submit their enhancements as proposals, but keep advancing the open technology regardless of the competitive vendor wars and alliances guaranteed to slow/kill things behind the thin veil of "standards" work. Because of the dominance of webkit at the edge, the vendor consortia are unable to stop WebKit enhancements. They are forced to consider the proposals. This has numerous effects. For instance, after eight years of left-for-dead neglect, the W3C was forced to resurrect work on HTML, CSS, CSS layout, and SVG. It's the only way the W3C could stay relevant. Adobe will be similarly forced to accelerate the openness of Flash. Given a choice between a truly open technology like WebKit, and a somewhat/eventually open Flash, developers will choose WebKit. And oh yeah; there is that little thing about WebKit owning the edge of the Web. The killer that seals the deal for WebKit however is that the greater Web's document model is changing. As Google, Facebook, Yahoo and many other web site service providers move to get their pages iPhone ready, the greater Web ends up adopting the WebKit document model at it's core. Microsoft has lost the battle for the Web's document model. The OOXML-XAML-Silvelight chain of WPF technologies will dominate the "business Web" primarily because we were unable to break the desktop monopolist grip on business documents and processes. The incredible success that WebKit is having both at the edge and across the greater Web insures however that the future of the Web will be "open". At least in part. ~ge~ - post by garyedwards

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