RDFa Versus Microformats


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Presented at MUPPLE09 workshop, Nice

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RDFa Versus Microformats

  1. 1. Vladimir Tomberg, Mart Laanpere   Tallinn University, Narva mnt. 25, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia vtomberg@tlu.ee, mart.laanpere@tlu.ee
  2. 2. <ul><li>Mash-up PLE have become a fast developing trend, especially for informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>How to exchange course-related information between PLEs in case of formal e-course? </li></ul><ul><li>Course is not just a static syllabus, it also involves various dynamic processes </li></ul><ul><li>These processes can be described using course metadata </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>A course has: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule for learning activities, deadlines (assignments, discussions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A list of registered participants with different roles (teachers, students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different types of learning resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We usually can extract such information from LMS, but how can it be done with PLE? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>(X)HTML is a main format for PLE </li></ul><ul><li>(X)HTML syntax is not designed for carrying the semantic data </li></ul><ul><li>Different technologies have been introduced in the past, Microformats and RDFa are two most widespread </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A teacher publishes information about her course using a Web application of her choice — blog, wiki, forum or personal Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Information is delivered to learners via mash-up technology </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The course metadata contains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>course description, amount of credits, important dates, contact information (teacher, students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pre-requisite and target competencies, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>required and suggested reading, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the criteria and form of a final assessment, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assignments (tasks, deadlines, tools, roles) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Teacher can constantly update the course metadata, even during the course </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher assigns the tasks (individual, group tasks), gives feedback to submitted contributions and assesses the learning outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Learners have always the fresh information on everything that happens on a course </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>HTML code: </li></ul><ul><li><a href = &quot;http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/&quot; rel= &quot; license &quot;>cc by 2.0</a> </li></ul><ul><li>In browser: </li></ul><ul><li>cc by 2.0 </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Standard (X)HTML attributes 'class' , 'rel' and 'rev' are used for metadata storing purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Not standardized, but well specified and widely known </li></ul><ul><li>In constant and endless development </li></ul><ul><li>Do not have any ontologies, formal descriptions or schemas </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>HTML code: </li></ul><ul><li><a rel =&quot; cc : license &quot; href=&quot;http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/&quot;> Creative Commons License </a> </li></ul><ul><li>In browser: </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Commons License </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Standardized by W3C </li></ul><ul><li>Uses 10 reserved tags, 5 of them from XHTML2 </li></ul><ul><li>Can be applied for RDFa only to XHTML2, not for HTML, XHTML1 </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing different namespaces in one document is possible, for example 'dc:' and 'cc:' simultaneously </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to predict the future potential because W3C does not support any more the futher development of XHTML 2 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Microformats RDFa Can be applied to HTML, XHTML In current state for XHTML 2 and limited for XHTML 1 Have useful implementations for end user today Yes, different add-ons for browsers allow that Not very useful for end user directly today Can be used in mash-ups Yes Yes Implementation in indexing services Google and Yahoo now indexing such microformats as hCard and hReview Google , US Government Website and Slideshare use RDFa Standardized No W3C Recommendation Drawbacks One limited dictionary for all purposes. Because of absence of standards support from developers is more enthusiastic than industrial Because of finishing of XHTML2 development the perspectives of RDFa are very unclear at the current moment
  13. 13. Microformats RDFa Vocabularies Only one Unlimited amount is possible Extendable vocabularies Yes, but only through community Yes, freely Interoperability level High Interoperability is possible only if known vocabularies are used Possibilities to add educational semantic values to data Average High
  14. 14. Microformats RDFa Course’s membership via hCard Learner and Teacher information via hCard Members relations via XFN Course events via hCalendar Can use any semantic vocabulary that suitable for course description
  15. 15. <ul><li>Vladimir Tomberg, Mart Laanpere </li></ul><ul><li>Towards Lightweight LMS 2.0: A Blog-based Approach to Online Assessment , </li></ul><ul><li>EC-TEL 2008 Maastricht, The Netherlands </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Which technology is more suitable? Depends on your needs and limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Microformats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple adaptation; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited vocabulary for educational needs; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RDFa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More flexible and semantically rich; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unclear future because XHTML2 lost W3C’s support </li></ul></ul>