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I am developing a semantic wiki engine that builds on Creole syntax conventions to support documents and other material relevant to the needs of transactional law.

I am impressed by the work that the WikiCreole community has accomplished -- normalizing common markup across the many wiki engines is no small feat.

However it is time I think to push into a new territory that addresses the needs of wiki applications, wiki books, wiki documents, and other upcoming uses of the paradigm. In particular Creole 2.0 should include a standard markup providing:

  • fine-grained XHTML support
  • robust XSL support including pagesets
  • complete support for semantic annotations & queries
  • core semantic models of a wiki and its articles
  • interwiki support and namespace standardizations

One other topic, as I saw elsewhere in this wiki: Is Creole a Waste of Time, i.e., Why not use HTML? My answer is a resounding no!

  • Most humans loathe entering HTML, for very good reasons
  • HTML evolution is throttled by certain software houses(hard evidence: XHTML 2.0) whose interest is NOT users needs but rather preserving the commercial viability of their (complex/expensive) product suites which emit XHTML
  • To be successful, the "Semantic Web" absolutely must be an evolution of current technologies -- a direct plea for RDF/A atop XHTML -- rather than a revolution featuring wholly new technologies -- a direct slap at the gathering notion of RDF triples exchange.

I suspect there's enough technos in this group willing to help surface a blueprint that establishes wikis as the essential platform for delivery of web 3.0... if there is, actually and truly, any other alternative for web 3.0, then I'd sure like to hear about it.

Wiki Model #

I think a "wiki" is a collection of articles and documents, a document itself being a collection of articles. (Incidentally I prefer "story" to "article" so as to distinguish from grammatical and other uses of "article" and it gives a clear path to tie into emerging argumentation models.)

A wiki "story" then is composed of one or more pages. I then look to XSL for the definition of a page, which divides rendition into repeatable header/footer areas & a body area. (In this regard, you can use "heading" or "caption" in the manner that you now seem to use for "header"). A "subpage" is another matter altogether, for its existence is functionally dependent on that of a superordinate page; a subpage often has overflow content from its superpage but it could be an earlier version of the superpage; in other words, a subpage contains material that is effectively attached to another page.

A wiki page is a container for content which, because a single story can be spread across multiple pages, means a single page may contain only part of a story. Page content can be of many varieties, e.g., paragraphs, tables, and lists. Many documents contain titled and sequentially-numbered sets of paragraphs & subsections which we both would call a "section" (as XHTML 2.0 does).

A document is often divided into front-matter, body, and back-matter; I don't believe that a story is similarly divided. Thus the body of a page for a story within a document may be the container for content that is part of one of these three document divisions.

Some of these concepts are perhaps better represented in a 'semantic page structure' as follows:

legend: X::Y where Y is-a X X:Y where X has-a Y ?=zero or one
*=zero or many
+=one or many
wiki         : document* story*
document     : abstract? story+ division+
division     :: frontmatter | bodymatter | backmatter
division     : story+ block*
story        :: abstract
story        : page+
page         : layout* subpage* ordinal 
layout       :: header | body | footer | sidebar
layout       : caption? block* column* ordinal 
block        :: division | section | line |
                heading  | graf    | list | hr   |
                table    | preblock| bquote
block        : block* flow* ordinal 
section      : heading? graf* footnote* comment*
heading      : seq_label title
seq_label    : seq_label* sep designation
designation  : prefix? (cardinal* | letter*) suffix?
list         :: ul | ol | dl | ilist
list         : list_item
list_item    :: ordered_ | unordered_
list_item    : heading? block* flow* ordinal
ordered_     : cardinal
table        : topcaption? theader? tbody* tfooter? 
               bottomcaption? ordinal 
flow         :: link | em | strong | img | br | ...
                styled_ | annotated_ | inserted_ |
                struck_ | imported_  | calculated_ |
                footnoted_ | redacted_ | queried | ...
flow         : flow* pcdata

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« This page (revision-5) was last changed on 19-Sep-2008 01:55 by JohnMcClure