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The Media United Kingdom

New BBC Sports Website Makes Heavy Use of RDF 89

New submitter whyloginwhysubscribe writes "A technical blog post describes how the BBC has rolled out the latest changes to its sports website in anticipation of the Summer Olympics in London. The innovative content management system extends the already available dynamic semantic publishing, which enables their journalists 'to spend more time creating great content and less time managing that content.' The post covers some of the technical and lots of the HCI / UI design decisions and is accompanied by a non-technical overview of the re-design."
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New BBC Sports Website Makes Heavy Use of RDF

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  • Shame... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unts ( 754160 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:23PM (#38893863) Homepage Journal
    So if such an incredible amount of effort went into getting the HCI/UI/UX right, then why does it look... awful, just awful? It's a shame really, for a site that's existed for so long.
  • Re:Shame... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:35PM (#38893999)

    Why does it look awful? Here's why:

    1. Money. Someone has to get paid to design this thing, and the BBC probably prefers to pay somebody (or some firm) with the right political connections, regardless of their design talent.

    2. Sports fans are tacky motherfuckers. Have you seen what sports fans wear? Neon fucking nightmares, every one of them. They probably LOVE the new design.

  • Re:Shame... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PDoc ( 841773 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:43PM (#38894097) Homepage
    Damn right. I just gave them some feedback (which you can too at http://ecustomeropinions.com/survey/survey.php?sid=878133413 [ecustomeropinions.com]): "Why does the new site use so little screen space? On a fairly standard monitor, less than half of my screen space is being used by content. The yellow/black theme is fine, but throwing blue into the mix is horrible! The shade of blue chosen is also almost identical to that used in Windows 7 to highlighted text. There is also very little commonality in CSS - why are some section headings backed with a yellow banner, but other are not? Randomly scattered white boxes along with the yellow banner spreading out along the screen for no reason also distract. The whole design feels very rushed and unfinished, and not up to the usual BBC standards. The new BBC Food ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/ [bbc.co.uk] ) and Weather ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/ [bbc.co.uk] ) pages (in particular) have been refreshed much more successfully. Extremely disappointing."
  • by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:54PM (#38894261)

    Flash had been around for over 5 years until it became the unofficial standard for rich internet applications (right around the time youtube showed up).

    The idea behind the semantic web (context > statistics) is not a bad one, the biggest problem I see though is that everyone is trying to implement it using entirely new standards and with an utopic ideal. If they worked on how to get existing technologies to take advantage of all those ideas (for ex: altering SQL to accept the returning of relations instead of creating SPARQL) instead of pushing forward Turtle, RDF, OWL, SWIRL, and a whole bunch of stuff that only die hard techs will look at, maybe it'd go somewhere.

  • by Menkhaf ( 627996 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:38PM (#38894835)

    On a similar note, what's up with the 5196 empty lines?

    ~/tmp$ grep ^$ launching_bbc_sport_new.html |wc
          5196 0 5196

    ...or the 21360 kB of whitespace?

    ~/tmp$ grep '^[[:blank:]]*$' launching_bbc_sport_new.html |wc
          5896 1400 21360

    That's one sixth of the page size (excluding external sources).

    And speaking of external sources: 336 kB of Javascript. Neat, huh?

    ~/tmp/bbc$ for i in `grep --color=never -o 'src="http://[[:alnum:][:punct:]/]*"' launching_bbc_sport_new.html |sed -r 's/src="//' | sed -r 's/"//'|grep '.js' --color=never`; do wget $i; done;
    ~/tmp/bbc$ du -ch *.js*
    28K bbccom.js
    28K blq_core.js
    16K comments-blog.js
    8.0K embed.js
    16K gloader.0.1.6.js
    16K gloader.js
    8.0K gw.js?csid=J08781
    20K id-core.js
    60K id.js
    24K require.js
    64K s_code.js
    36K sharetools.js
    12K swfobject.js
    336K total

    I haven't done any webpage project nearly as big as what I imagine BBC to be, but still, 476 kB all in all. Wow.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @10:35AM (#38902139)

    "They just tax everyone with a TV in the UK - even if you never watch their stuff."

    They tax everyone who watches live broadcast TV in the UK.

    Yes, whilst a fair whack goes to the BBC, it also goes to looking after the broadcast infrastructure in the UK also. you might have noticed recent talk about using surplus from the digital switchover fund which came from the BBC's pool of money being used to fund broadband too.

    So enough of the bollocks about having to pay for something you don't use, you do use it, if you watch UK broadcast TV live, you're getting benefit from the license fee. If you don't watch broadcast TV live, you have no need to pay the license fee. Chances are even if you pay for Sky, or Virgin and solely use that, you've watched shows that are at least in part funded by the license fee.

    People stupidly believe the FUD that the license fee only pays for the actual BBC channels, but it doesn't - it pays for the content they produce, that's shown elsewhere, the broadcast network, subsidies for ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, and also any number of projects related to media access in the UK.

    The BBC are restricted in how well they can generate resources to compete- Sky gets more income than the BBC does from license fees, and whilst the BBC could compete, it's been artificially restricted from doing so at the behest of Murdoch due to his corrupt links with numerous high ranking government ministers.

    BBC World was growing incredibly fast as a result of the quality and popularity of their content (i.e. Planet Earth), and the BBC was looking at producing set top boxes along with the likes of ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 for on demand TV well ahead of it's time (long before Apple TV, and Google TV etc.). These are examples of where, due to Sky/Virgin lobbying the BBC has been artificially held back. The worst part is, for people like you, who clearly detest the license fee, that it could've been reduced, or even abolished if the BBC was allowed to pursue these revenue streams. Effectively despite Sky receiving higher income than the BBC by quite a margin, the BBC was restricted because despite it's lower income, it was out competing Sky due to better innovating. Now, ministers have prevented it innovating, so that Sky could continue to make more money, without having to bother to innovate.

    It's somewhat of a coup too, the BBC was established to be independent of government, but government does have some control over it's budget, and the Tories most recently have abused that to restrict the BBC's ability to outcompete the likes of Sky based on innovation. Both previously Labour and now the Tories know they can't use the BBC to push their agenda because it is at least editorially independent, so instead they use their control over it's budget to restrict it's ability to compete with Sky which, being controlled so heavily by Murdoch they can use to push their agenda - when you understand this context, you'll understand why Jeremy Hunt was so openly going to allow the full News International takeover of Sky despite the blatant evidence of corruption right until the point it became a truly untenable position to defend. He was willing to be so openly corrupt because he knew that if it succeeded that a couple of years Murdoch propaganda before the next election would make him and his party look like saints again regardless.

    There's a reason Murdoch's press and it's biggest ally, The Daily Mail create this anti-BBC propaganda about how you're paying for Jonathan Ross' extortionate salary and so forth and harp on about how unfair the license fee is if you don't watch Eastenders ignoring everything else the license fee goes to in their articles. I have plenty of complaints about some areas of the BBC myself, but make no mistake it's still one of the best editorially independent news outlet in the world, still arguably the best producer of documentairies in the world, and most importantly - it's under attack by vested interests.

    So by all means back the propaganda, pre

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"