greg FitzPatrick, New Cultural Forms Panel


-------Greg FitzPatrick---------

Information from the proposer:

Greg FitzPatrick
MetaMatrix AB

Keywords: resource description, self-publishing, multi_culture, communities, govt

SKiCal - Exploiting Commonalities in Cultural Resource Publishing

Two years ago the Structured Knowledge Imitative was launched in Sweden. Representatives from national institutions of culture, tourism, sport, municipal services and education met to discuss common interests in using the Internet as a resource publishing tool. At this meeting it was determined that from the point of view of the consumer, defined by the group as a TimeSpender, there was a significant similarity in the properties and mechanisms of resource publishing to merit a unified directory standard. Just as books in a library covering a wide range of topics could be classified by unified schemas such as Dewey Decimal and Dublin Core, so could the events and resources of the communities gathered be expressed in a common format. The long term objective was the creation of an End2End directory, benefiting 'narrow' as well as 'broad' interests. The commonalties were inventoried and sorted under the interrogatives a TimeSpender would use to gain knowledge and plan eventual interaction with the resources.

WHAT The resource name and description, category, orientation etc. The persons, things and concepts involved.

WHERE The resource location in geo- or cyber space, addresses, directions etc.

WHEN The scheduled times of events and the operational times of persistent resources

WHO The organisers, promoters, producers etc. involved

HOW 'intentionally misspelled' The details and arrangements facilitating the TimeSpenders participation or attendance. Ticketing, reservations and payment methods, age requirements, restrictions, recommendations and requirements.

WHY Motivational, promotional and informational material about the event.

Using this model called SKiCal, two working groups were formed. One, concentrating on extending the iCal RFC2445 Mime Directory standard used in most common desktop calendars such as Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, the other, working with XML and RDF models. The Mime Directory work is about to receive RFC status within the IETF. The XML work is awaiting the RFC status of the above document prior to submission of the XML-SKiCal schema to the appropriate repositories. In the meantime SKiCal has won considerable acceptance in Sweden in its pre-RFC state. It is being adapted by various institutions, tourist organisations and not least the major newspapers.

This paper is intended to give a brief description of SKiCal, the tribulations and successes of its short history and the plans for the future. Hopefully this will serve as an example and inspiration to others.


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