Dear Adobe, Here’s an idea for you

Dear Adobe,

I know you’ve been learning about RDFa (Resource Description Framework). You guys pay attention. I’d love it if the folks working on Dreamweaver could add some RDFa support to the next version of Dreamweaver.

Here’s my vision of this. The already existing metadata developed by The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative could simply be added as a menu, perhaps a new DC menu. Using that menu, a developer could quickly select from a list of existing properties and insert them in semantically appropriate locations on a web page.

Here’s an example of some RDFa code from the W3C:

<div xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/">
<h2 property="dc:title">The trouble with Bob</h2>
<h3 property="dc:creator">Alice</h3>
...
</div>

Wouldn’t it be lovely if a busy front end developer using Dreamweaver could just grab the xmlns or one of the dc properties from a menu and apply it to the proper semantic element?

The other day I heard  Michael (TM) Smith say,

Semantic markup is markup that encodes meaning into content. Semantic markup transforms a document into an information source. The information becomes usable in unanticipated ways when the structure is reusable.

I know that the hand coders and the standardistas out here in web page land will take to RDF without your help. But what about Adobe’s core user group? Don’t those developers need to be describing their data with machine-readable structured meta data, too?

I  hope you will give the idea some consideration.

Sincerely,
Dreamweaver’s  biggest fan,
Virginia

3 thoughts on “Dear Adobe, Here’s an idea for you

  1. Hi Virginia,

    I forwarded a link for posting to some friends. (Thanks for quoting me, by the way.)

    I’d suggest that one great way to demonstrate to Adobe the value of adding RDFa support to Dreamweaver would be for somebody to first write a third-party RDFs plugin for Dreamweaver, and to then track how many people actually download and install and use that — and to get the word out by having Web-technologies teacher/trainers and book/article writers talk about the RDFs plugin in their work.

    I do realize that it could take a while to get the word out and to much data back on how much it is used. But pragmatically speaking, I think it might get into Dreamweaver natively much more quickly that way than it would if we just depend on waiting for Adobe to add it.

    On a somewhat related note, you might be interested in taking a look at the following:

    http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2009Feb/0032.html

    It’s a message from Larry Masinter of Adobe, about head@profile support in Dreamweaver.

    –Mike

  2. Mike, When I wrote that letter, I was actually thinking that it would be very nice if Project Seven or some other Dreamweaver extension maker created an extension for RDF. It could happen a lot faster than building it into the next Adobe Creative Suite version, too.

  3. Hi, Virginia-
    Thanks for the post. Michael has a great point- feature sets for DW are largely driven by demand, so often the fastest path to a specific implementation is when the third-party community jumps on it first (i.e. the extension suggestion). Right now we’re keeping an eye on RDFa but there isn’t much demand for it coming through the official channels yet – I’m certainly going to be watching how that progresses, however.

    Sorry I missed you at WDN! I wasn’t able to arrive until the day after the workshops, unfortunately.

    -Scott, Adobe Systems

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