See also roundup

Mike Linksvayer, January 25th, 2012

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative specification (which Creative Commons is coordinating) has entered its final public commenting period. Please look if you’re at all interested in education metadata and/or how efforts spurred by schema.org (which LRMI is) will shape up.

The W3C published drafts recently that ought be of great interest to the Creative Commons technology community: a family of documents regarding provenance and a guide to using microdata, microformats, and RDFa in HTML. I mentioned these on my personal blog here and here.

Speaking of things mentioned on my personal blog, a couple days ago I posted some analysis of how people are deploying CC related metadata based on a structured data extracted by the Web Data Commons project from a sample of the Common Crawl corpus. Earlier this month I posted a marginally technical explanation of using CSS text overlays to provide attribution and a brief historical overview of ‘open hardware licensing’, something which the CC technology team hasn’t been involved in, but is vaguely labs-ish, and needs deep technical attention.

Other things needing deep technical attention: how CC addresses Digital Restrictions Management in version 4.0 of its licenses is being discussed. We don’t know enough about the technical details of various restricted systems (see last sentence) that CC licensed works are being distributed on/to/with every day, and ought to. Another needs-technical-attention issue is ‘functional content’ for example in games and 3D printing. And we’re still looking for a new CTO.

Finally, Jonathan Rees just posted on how to apply CC0 to an ontology. You should subscribe to Jonathan’s blog as almost every post is of great interest if you’ve read this far.

Addendum: It seems remiss to not mention SOPA, so I’m adding it. Thanks to the technology community for rising up against this bad policy. CC promoted the campaign on its main website through banners and a number of blog posts. Don’t forget that SOPA/PIPA may well rise again, the so-called Research Works Act is very different but is motivated by the same thinking, and ACTA threatens globally. Keep it up! In the long term, is not building a healthy commons (and thus technology needed to facilitate building a healthy commons) a big part of the solution? On that, see yet another post on my personal blog…

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RDFaCE: an RDFa-enhanced TinyMCE rich editor

Mike Linksvayer, July 9th, 2011

For a long time — it feels like much longer than the RDFa Plugin for WordPress tech challenge has been on the wiki (28 months) — the idea that there should be such a thing has been around. I recall multiple Summer of Code applications proposing to tackle the problem. However, it is a really hard UI problem.

I’m really happy to see the announcement of RDFaCE, which does most of the hard work.

Without reading any documentation or watching their screencast (still haven’t watched it, no idea if it is any good!) I was able to add a cc:attributionName annotation specific to the image in their demo on my first try:

  • select the photographer name, insert cc:attributionName annotation with literal value already in the text. RDFaCE seems to already know the correct cc: namespace mapping.
  • select content around photo, set subject to photo URL
  • verify that triples produced are correct

Granted I more or less know what I’m doing. But, so do lots of other people. Contrary to some impressions, annotating stuff on the web with name-value pairs (“stuff” is the subject in the “triple”) is hardly brain-twisting.

I look forward to seeing RDFaCE bundled in a WordPress plugin with some awareness of the WordPress media manager, and using on this very blog.

TinyMCE is the free software rich text editor used in lots of projects in addition to WordPress, so this is a great step forward!

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New Guide on Publishing CC License Metadata

Alex Kozak, January 7th, 2011

You may have noticed that the copy-and-paste HTML you get from the CC license chooser includes some strange attributes you’re probably not familiar with. That is RDFa metadata, and it allows for the CC license deeds, search engines, Open Attribute, and other tools to discover metadata about your work and generate attribution HTML. Many platforms have implemented CC REL metadata in their CC license marks, such as Connexions and Flickr, and it’s our recommended way to mark works with a CC license.

In an effort to make CC license metadata (or CC REL metadata) much easier to implement, we’ve created CC REL by Example. It includes many example HTML pages, as well as explanations and links to more information.

We’re hoping this guide will serve as a useful set of examples for developers and publishers who want to publish metadata for CC licensed works. Even if you just use CC licenses for your own content, now is a great time to take a first step into structured data and include information about how you’d like to be attributed.

You can find the source to the guide in git. Feedback and suggestions can be sent to webmaster@creativecommons.org.

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GSoC CC Firefox Extension + WordPress plugin = ?

igorlukanin, July 15th, 2010

Undoubtedly, it’s very important for all GSoC student projects (and all projects under CC in general) to collaborate smoothly. A few days ago Nils Dagsson Moskopp, the developer of GSoC CC WordPress plugin, asked me to test the plugin to work with the extension for Firefox web browser I’m developing.

Today, releasing version 0.7.0 of the extension, I recorded a short screencast (watch on YouTube), showing how the extension interprets RDFa information of the WordPress plugin test page.

I hope this video would make us believe we’re on the right way. ;)

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GSoC Firefox Extension: Status Report

igorlukanin, July 11th, 2010

The extension for Firefox web browser I’m developing has a number of improvements in the code base, as well as in the UI. So, ladies and gentlemen, let`s get familiar with them.

The current version of the extension may be downloaded and tried yourself (choose Save Link As from the context menu, then install).
Read More…

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GSoC CC WordPress Plugin: Weekly Report #5

erlehmann, June 30th, 2010

Another delayed report, late by a day. This time, however, I can deliver; the current version of the plugin sports the filter system I unsuccessfully tried to implement the week before: While previous versions of the plugin inserted HTML directly into the post (example screenshot), the new iteration only inserts a shortcode containing the attachment ID and a caption (e.g. [[cc:18|some caption]]). The actual markup is then generated when the page is requested. This satisfies use cases in which a blogger wishes to modify media metadata later on, like changing license or alt text.

Less visible for the user, I was able to unify the two saving functions triggered on saving and inserting media and adding a metadata field which holds the exact license URI for every attachment (determined using the Creative Commons API). I recommend checking out the repository.

For the coming week, I will look into post thumbnails, which require no inline markup for purely decorative pictures, like those used at Spreeblick and Breitband. I will also explore alternate content and plugin directories again, as my last attempt regarding that issue was a complete failure.

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GSoC CC WordPress Plugin: Weekly Report #4

erlehmann, June 25th, 2010

As some of you may have noticed, this report about the WordPress CC plugin is several days late. This is because I was unable to produce new substantial features and have hit a roadblock with the one that is most important right now: A filter.

In its current state, the plugin works fairly straightforward; it generates the markup and inserts it into the post. When planning it, I thought that would suffic — however, Nathan Kinkade advised me that several use cases would break this simple behaviour: If, for example, the chosen license is changed, there is no way to update all posts containing the already generated markup.

The solution lies in an intermediate form of markup that gets applied every time a page containing cc-licensed media is generated. My current approach looks like this: [[cc:18]] (where 18 is the id of the image/audio/video). This should get converted to the already known RDFa-enriched HTML; currently, however, a bug in my code apparently makes WordPress return a blank page whenever I activate that filter.

On a related note, someone in #swig on FreeNode advised me to look at Oshani Seneviratnes semantic clipboard; as I can tell, it would go together nicely with my plugin.

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GSoC CC WordPress Plugin: Weekly Report #3

erlehmann, June 16th, 2010

This week, development on the plugin proceeded at a faster pace. Shortly after I posted the last report, Nathan Kinkade pointed out the fix to the bug that prevented saving, a simple type error. On the next day, I implemented stylesheet support, hereby adapting three styles I originally made for my defunct microdata plugin, and an admin interface to switch between them (screenshot). Additional more or less notable changes are:

  • metadata is not only saved now, but will also be retrieved to populate form fields
  • multiple RDFa fixes, machine-readable data should be correct now
  • the plugin has a directory structure, earlier versions were just a single file
  • there is now a sample file for stylesheet development
  • metadata is also saved when the media item is inserted into the post
  • the plugin now uses the Creative Commons API to get the current license version

The current output of the plugin can be seen at my GSoC test blog and checked using the W3Cs RDFa distiller and parser.

On a less technical note, I have met three people relevant to plugin development: When I explained to Julia Seeliger that I was implementing her plugin idea, she was delighted. Max Winde, creator of the inspiring Spreeblick plugin, suggested including an easy option for re-embedding the relevant content, possibly using Javascript. Last but not least, Moritz Metz, a radio journalist and blogger at Breitband, intending to use the plugin when it is finished, told me about his use of alternate content and plugin directories and urged me to consider supporting not only inline content, but also post thumbnail images.

I consider this version of the plugin not finished, but functional enough for testers, who are encouraged to check out the Git repository. For the coming week, I will look into the issue surrounding alternate content and plugin directories and proceed to polish the existing features.

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GSoC Firefox Extension: Project Introduction and Weekly Reports #1-2

igorlukanin, June 8th, 2010

Hello, my name’s Igor Lukanin. I’m a 21 year old student of the Ural Federal University located in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Despite the fact that I study IT security, I’ve always been interested in the FOSS initiative and licensing issues, that’s why I’m proud to present the other GSoC project here at CC. But first, I should thank Nathan Yergler who was giving valuable comments on the project proposal, and my mentor John Doig who is always willing to help, letting me work around any obstacles I face.

Project Introduction

The project is intended to develop an extension for Mozilla Firefox web browser that would make it easy to find CC-licensed content on browsed pages, know the license and its terms, clarify their meaning and generate correct attribution information for content re-usage. The major advantage of this project is its (future) nice and polished UI (a mockup of the browser’s Page Info dialog is available).
Read More…

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GSoC CC WordPress Plugin: Weekly Report #2

erlehmann, June 8th, 2010

For last week’s work on the plugin, I had two targets, both related to the goal of making the interface functional: First, saving license, rights holder and attribution URL in the database and enabling the WordPress media manager to display that information; second, generating the RDFa-enriched markup using those aforementioned three bits. While I succeeded in generating the markup, when trying to actually save the input, I hit a wall, neither being able to figure out how this should be done, nor how it could be done. By the way, a blog post about a thumbnail plugin helped me understand which hooks are actually important.

The added functionality is easily explained: If a Creative Commons license is selected, the standard WordPress markup generating behaviour is replaced by the plugin’s. Two screenshots exemplify this development:

As always, this version can be viewed and checked out at the official Git repository. For this week, I will be focusing on stylesheets and trying to further tackle the saving issue.

On a related note, the inconsistent order of parameters regarding WordPress functions, the lack of easy debugging facilities and the subtle differences between double quoted and single quoted strings added to my frustration.

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