Semantics in regard to HTML markup is a murky water. This is because web pages are usually not an essay style document, which HTML was designed to markup, and contain information that is not actually relevant to what the page is about. Examples would be: menus, shopping cart information, summaries of forum activity, and the other half of HTML design: user/human interfaces. To say or even think that HTML can encapsulate all the “meanings” that human language structures can come up with (which are actually infinite), not to mention the non-language structures found on web systems representing a computer system interface, is naive. It is also an assumption that has never been backed up by any standards body in argument and thats because its simply wrong. The Microformat standard and now POSH process seem to be unwittingly dealing with the problem without understanding it. This is actually an applied philosophy problem!
Lessons learnt from Drupal, taxonomies, hierarchys, modules and a new approch to content management.
Drupal treats taxonomies like any other entity and so you can have as many as you like. You then associate them with module types and when someone creates an instance of a new module (Node) they are given the option to select which term(s) (i.e. category) they want to put the data in. Modules can have more than one taxonomy associated with it. In reality all data is treated the same and the taxonomies make the bumps in the landscape. we had the problem that you couldn’t associate one bit of content with another but someone wrote a handy module to do this. It basically allowed parent child relationships between the data of different module types i.e. so a an ‘Article’ about a course could have ‘Events’ listed with it to book those courses. The interface became unintuitive because the admin had to make then both separately and then separately make the associating between the course description and the booking listings.
Continue reading “Problems with Drupal and the way forward.”