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Joe Pairman
Works at Mekon Ltd
Attended University of Leeds
Lives in London
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Joe Pairman

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Very useful info
 
Rich cards are upon us

My survey of all the structured data changes that Google rolled out on the 17th, including the introduction of rich cards.
On 17 May 2016 Google made a number of changes to their structured data site and introduced a successor to rich snippets, rich cards.
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Joe Pairman

Tech stuff  - 
 
My talk from tcworld 2015 last week on avoiding content management implementation failures, or turning things around if you're in a project that's in danger of failing. So, "tech stuff" in a way, but if you watch it past about the 9 minute mark, it will become clear that it's really people stuff.

It's more about execution than strategy, but getting a content management implementation wrong can be enough to capsize a strategy.
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Michael Andrews's profile photoJoe Pairman's profile photo
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Thanks, Michael. "Solutionism" is a very apt term, and you're right to point out that it applies to dogmas as much as particular platforms. There are solutions to content problems of course, but they don't tend to come in neat packages.

On the exotic approaches — on a general level I would agree. People tend to overcomplicate things, as I discussed with regard to requirements gathering. We should strive to keep only the necessary complexity in our implementations.

Sometimes, however, you need to do some fairly exotic things in terms of managing or delivering content — what the BBC was doing with ontologies comes to mind. Here, it becomes helpful to manage the human factor by creating representations and models that all stakeholders can engage with. Representations in the context of training: analogies and demonstrations that convey complex systems in an understandable way. Models in the sense of the interface itself, and the way that the mechanisms of the system can be tactically exposed or hidden to create a coherent and confidence-building experience.
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Can JSON-LD replace RDFa for mentions in a page's human-readable content?

This is a question for Linked Data folks, such as +Manu Sporny. I understand the advantages of JSON-LD for page-level markup — saying that a whole page is about a particular organization in a particular location; has a certain author; talks about a product's price/rating, and so on. In these cases, JSON-LD is simpler and more developer-friendly than inline markup.

But how about when you want to mark up mentions of inline entities that aren't the main subject of the page, though? For example if you wanted to connect mentions of "Bluetooth" and "Wi-Fi"  to the related Wikidata concepts, or to the standards organizations behind those technologies? http://www.htc.com/us/support/htc-one-m9/howto/604060.html

I understand that you could just separately include JSON-LD markup that would connect to those concepts. But what if you really want to connect the human-readable mentions in the page directly to the concepts? Is RDFa (or Microdata of course) the only way? Or can JSON-LD talk about an inline span, say, by referencing an ID on that element?

Here's a piece I wrote on why you might want to use inline markup in this way (not the JSON-LD bit, but the kinds of applications for doing so): https://medium.com/@joepairman/connecting-with-real-world-entities-3af86b04a0b4

(+Michael Andrews, this relates to that discussion we had the other day on Twitter: https://twitter.com/storyneedle/status/606733122508615680 )

#JSON-LD #RDFa    #LinkedData  
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Joe Pairman's profile photoManu Sporny's profile photo
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+Joe Pairman understood and agreed. Personally, I didn't have much hope for the XML+RDFa profile we put in the spec, but I still hope it'll catch on at some point and help a sub-community get semantics into their XML documents. :)
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Interesting. Good question Martin raises at the end — is it too late for Mercurial? I see it as a Betamax to Git's VHS: superior but losing the popularity fight.
 
Lots of good +Mercurial stuff coming out of Facebook these days! You can now get sparse checkouts (creating only part of your working copy — makes "hg status", "hg diff", etc faster) and shallow clones (download only the latest version of your files). This makes it much easier to work with gigantic repositories. There's also a push-rebase extension that does SVN-like merging (rebase, really) on the server side to avoid races on push. Sounds convenient, but it implies a non-pull request workflow.

They've also released a great hgwatchman extension that makes "hg status" instantaneous by using inotify or fsevents to listen for filesystem modifications. Most other commands also get a speed boost since they call status under the hood.

Very exciting developments! The question is now if it's too late to matter for regular developers... Given the dominance of +Git, will Mercurial will end up being the hyper-scalable revision control system used by a few big corporations?
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My presentation from last week's CMS/DITA NA conference in Chicago. I think most of the slides work OK without accompanying narrative. I'd be interested to hear whether this sparks any ideas (or disagreement for that matter!)

#contentmanagement   #structuredcontent   #ditaxml   #lean  
(My talk at CMS/DITA NA 2015) Although content management is an established field with well-defined best practices, the project failure rate is alarmingly high. The causes are primarily human. Decision makers become blinded by new tools and the desire to fix everything at once. They ignore the needs and abilities of the system’s human users. Before anyone realizes, projects can get into serious trouble. This presentation shows how failing project...
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Will Communities survive any impending changes to / dissolution of Google+?

I think all but the real diehard Plussers would have to be pessimistic by now about the chances of Google+ surviving for many more years in its present form. For example, my guess would be on Drive gradually assimilating more of Plus's photo editing features  — as we've seen recently, alignment of the two services in that regard has already started.

How about Communities, though? Do people think they'll survive any impending changes / dissolution of Google+? Going from the more thoughtful and well-moderated Communities such as the excellent Content Strategy one, you might well feel the chances are good. But there are an awful lot more that are essentially defunct (including my shamefully neglected Content Engineering for Humans one — where's the blushing emoticon when you need it?) And of course there are commercial considerations that go beyond mere user numbers and enthusiasm. The fate of Reader shows that.

#Communities   #googleplus    #Reader  
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Communities will survive
100%
Communities will be discontinued
0%
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Michael Andrews's profile photoJoe Pairman's profile photoMarc Schnau's profile photo
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"...people tend to be more aggressive on LinkedIn"
Agreed. It's a lot about self-marketing, attention economy and the the prerogative of interpreting business related topics. :-)
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Discussion  - 
 
Over the last couple of weekends, I’ve been refining a framework for visualizing schemas that:
- Provides an accessible way for authors, managers, and schema developers alike to understand or refine a content model.
- Is easy to update and maintain without specialist tools or knowledge.
- Offers a single-page view of the whole content model at a glance, rather than the common approach of revealing only certain aspects of the model in each view. (While it can sometimes be helpful to focus on details of the model, the full picture is very helpful for putting the detail in context and working with the model in a way that’s easily grasped.)
- Is structured enough that it could be parsed to generate at least a skeleton formal schema such as a DTD.

I hope this sparks some ideas among community members — let me know what you think!
An accessible way for authors, information architects, and schema developers alike to understand or refine a content model.
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Liam Quin's profile photoJoe Pairman's profile photo
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Thanks, Liam. They're intended for two situations:

1. In collaborative requirements gathering among content teams and information architects. I've already successfully used this format with a client to clarify DITA specialization needs, and now that's finished I'll use the same chart as a reference when actually going ahead and doing the specialized DTDs.
The format could also be used to automatically generate at least a starting point for a formal schema such as a DTD. The most straightforward way might be to export the sheet as CSV and parse that based on the column in which an element name appeared and the number format (if any) in that element's row.
2. When people are authoring in XML and need a quick, at-a-glance reference (someone commented that they'd like get laminated posters of these done for the three main "out-of-box" DITA topic types, so their authors could hang them in their cubicles)

Though I've used DITA examples, there's absolutely no reason that the visualization couldn't be used to represent other documentation schemas such as DocBook, or custom-designed ones, though pragmatic decisions might need to be made as to the level of nesting represented in any one such diagram. In the same way that I had "[regular block elements]" in the example, an indication might need to be given as to the nested structures that were represented separately, on a different sheet.
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Joe Pairman

Tech stuff  - 
 
In adaptive content, we pay lots of attention to textual information and somewhat less to graphics. Yet graphics are essential carriers of information, and if we merely allow them to scale down on small screens (or omit them altogether!) we can be doing users a disservice.

I did a large and rather complicated auto graphics processing implementation in HTC. The individual steps to get to such a solution can be quite simple, though. The most important thing is to keep our information architecture hat on and look at graphics needs in different output contexts. The tech is secondary.

Here's a piece I wrote that walks through the steps to develop an automated graphics processing strategy in an accessible way. It was originally in CIDM Best Practices, but I've finally got round to converting the tables so it works on my blog.

Have others in the group done similar implementations? Anyone using HTML5's new responsive images support?
Good visual communication is essential, yet graphics are often an afterthought in structured content implementations. We need a new approach to make them work well over an increasing range of screen sizes, devices, and contexts.
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Marcia Riefer Johnston's profile photoMichael Andrews's profile photoJoe Pairman's profile photo
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Regarding appropriate cropping, it can be semi-automated. If you know where the focal point of your image is, you can do things like this (resize the window and see how the less salient info in the background moves out of the window): http://juliankussman.com/scaling/

Or, for a completely automated approach to keeping the salient info clear while minimizing distortion, look at the video under "Optimized Scale-and-Stretch for Image Resizing" on this page: http://people.cs.nctu.edu.tw/~yushuen/publications.htm
(The video under "Focus+Context Metro Maps" is also impressive.)

Regarding translation of text within SVGs, there was so much potential. However, the standard and the tools got out of sync, meaning that unless the text strings are very short and confined to a single line, you're better off just localizing the image in a dedicated image editor.
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Joe Pairman

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Enjoying preparing my "Culture Shock! Taxonomy" session for next week's CIDM Online Forum: https://forum.infomanagementcenter.com/forum-2015/agenda/pairman/

The point isn't that RDFa is verbose, by the way. It's that in the world of knowledge organization and the Semantic Web, data-enriched content is often published with its data in a standards-based, search-engine usable way.

I strongly doubt that this meme will go viral. ;-)

#markdown   #ditaxml   #semanticweb  
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Joe Pairman

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Going back to Taiwan in June to visit the in-laws. This collection pretty much serves as my must-eat list. Apart from bitter melon, you can't get any of these vegetables readily in the UK.
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Joe Pairman

> Architecture  - 
 
Eastbourne pier last Sunday morning. Essentially untouched apart from cropping. I did loads of different exposures though and threw out lots.
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I find this statistic quite surprising. As I commented:

"Got to be spaces, surely? I mean, configure the tab key to insert sequences of spaces by all means, but no tab characters!"
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Joe Pairman's profile photoBoyd Smith's profile photo
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Well.  I've been programming for 30 years, and I still like my tabs, but I actually wasn't convinced of their superiority until after I was exposed to the ideas of both sides some 20 years ago.  I've yet to be convinced otherwise.

Because I care so much about the white space used in my code, I always follow the white space practice already in place when I'm modifying code (which is, really, most of what I do).  For some reason, it seems like people that prefer spaces (or don't think about it) can't or won't do that, so spaces end up being the "common denominator".  Though, that probably a biased view of things, so I wouldn't use it as a data point.

Copy/paste can be a problem, but copy/pasting code probably means you are doing something wrong to begin with.  Even then concerns over the white space and the reader should provide you enough time to fix the white space if you can't figure out how to copy/paste it correctly.
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Work
Occupation
Lead Consultant
Skills
Information Architecture, DITA, Mobile Applications, Cross-Functional Team Leadership, Project Management, Information Design, User-Centered Design, SDL LiveContent, Mercurial, DVCS, XMetaL, Oxygen, Python
Employment
  • Mekon Ltd
    2014 - present
  • HTC Corporation
    2008 - 2014
  • Linguitronics Co.
    2007 - 2008
  • Lado Management Consultants
    2007 - 2008
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London
Previously
Taipei - Leeds - Exeter
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Structured Information Architect
Introduction
My longer postings these days are on Shaping Information.
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  • University of Leeds
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Simple rooms but clean, and the price is good. Breakfast is quite nice, even if a little overpriced, as so many continental hotel breakfasts are.
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Very tasty food, even if trying a little too hard sometimes (grapefruit with haddock and asparagus didn't quite make sense!) Decor is cosy.
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Very family friendly. Tasty fish and chips. Kebab good too. Will definitely go back when I'm in the area again.
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Pretty good. Had a decent kimchi soup and a very nice teriyaki salmon bento. Will definitely go again.
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I like it. Friendly, welcoming staff and the food's fine for the price. Don't know if other reviewers were expecting Le Gavroche or something?
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