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New BBC Sports Website Makes Heavy Use of RDF

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the semantic-sports-league dept.

The Media 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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89 comments

Reality distortion field? (4, Funny)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893703)

They had better be careful. Apple is a very lawsuit-happy corporation.

Re:"Great" my ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38893957)

which enables their journalists 'to spend more time creating great content and less time managing that content'

Great content? Eh what? This is a sports site. It's bread-and-circus fodder for the rabble, for jock-sniffers. They might hate CEOs and other multimillionaires for being too rich or something but they just love multimillionaires who can throw a ball. At least they are slightly classier than celebrity gossip types - they usually stick to the jocks' performance and obsess over that instead of worrying about their private lives. Usually. But it's shallow inconsequential bullshit designed to placate small-minded people either way.

Sports can be fun to play, as in actually getting off your ass and engaging in the activity yourself. But making a big fucking deal out of this particular brand of entertainer? It's about as productive as arguing about who Lady Gaga is banging this time.

Re:"Great" my ass (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894305)

They might hate CEOs and other multimillionaires for being too rich or something but they just love multimillionaires who can kick a ball.

FTFY

Re:Reality distortion field? (3, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894049)

A Reality Distortion Field is our only chance of winning medals.

Re:Reality distortion field? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894155)

You mean besides curling?

Re:Reality distortion field? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894633)

Lads, this is London. That's a full 20 imperial oz curl you're doing there. It's not one of those wimpy 16 US oz curls they pull over in the States.

Richard Dawkins Foundation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896191)

Didn't realize how big atheism was getting in sports.

RDF? (5, Informative)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893705)

Wish it was more common in writing to define an acronym before using it, especially one that doesn't appear in the article.

Re:RDF? (1)

unts (754160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893885)

Seeing as this is the British *Broadcasting* Company we're talking about here, they *must* be referring to RDF Television: http://www.rdftelevision.com/ [rdftelevision.com]

Re:RDF? (2)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894099)

It actually mentions the use of semantic web technologies, so I highly doubt that was what they meant.

On the other hand, why does using RDF and semantic web makes journalists spend "more time creating content"? I'd say that has nothing to do with semantic web but with the publishing tools they use.

Re:RDF? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894659)

And of course everyone knows exactly what "semantic web technologies" implies.....

Re:RDF? (1)

unts (754160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896397)

Indeed. That and the fact that I was taking the piss... which the GP doesn't seem to have noticed.

Except maybe they did, and I've just fallen into a trap...

Re:RDF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894069)

Wish it was more common in writing to define an acronym before using it, especially one that doesn't appear in the article.

I wish it was more common to use Google rather than demanding to be spoonfed, and to value informing yourself more than you value complaining.

Re:RDF? (0)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894643)

Wish it was more common in writing to define an acronym before using it, especially one that doesn't appear in the article.

Especially since none of the linked stories ever mentioned RDF even once, nor did the summary even follow up with any specifics.

All of which suggests speculation in the summary title with no actual knowledge of exactly what they are using.

Re:RDF? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894907)

"Wish it was more common in writing to define an acronym before using it, especially one that doesn't appear in the article."

Radio Direction Finding. And it's very common, in fact required, in good writing. Whoever wrote the summary simply can't write well.

Re:RDF? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896777)

Radical Dance Faction? UK band which split and became known as DF118, after a popular recreational drug.

It's perfectly common, by the way. It's just Slashdot has gone to shit lately, especially after that pointless "Look! I made a pretend ZX81 out of lego" nonsense a few days ago.

I'll get a gold in freestyle grammar nazism (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893711)

BBC has rolled out the latest changes to it's sports website

Did they include an erroneous apostrophe detector?

Re:I'll get a gold in freestyle grammar nazism (2)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894279)

I'm sure they did. It's got to somewhere among the 76 individual <script src="..."> includes or 73 inline <script> ... </script> tags.

Looking at this source code... it makes me cry on the inside just a little bit.

Re:I'll get a gold in freestyle grammar nazism (4, Interesting)

Menkhaf (627996) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:I'll get a gold in freestyle grammar nazism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897639)

id.js should contain one function: var id = function (x) { return x; }

60k, talk about code obfuscation.

Re:I'll get a gold in freestyle grammar nazism (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898175)

The whitespace is so that they can add whatever content or images they like whilst leaving network transfer times the same.

Apostrophe? (2, Informative)

jginspace (678908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893731)

the BBC has rolled out the latest changes to it's sports website

New submitter (and Unknown Lamer) could have learned how to use the apostrophe.

Re:Apostrophe? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38893919)

Oh god, the horror.

Or you could just jump off a bridge.

Re:Apostrophe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894173)

the BBC has rolled out the latest changes to it's sports website

New submitter (and Unknown Lamer) could have learned how to use the apostrophe.

Why bother? Theres alway's some egotistical asshol'e ready to poin't it out.

Re:Apostrophe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894381)

's some egotistical asshol'e ready to poin'

yer missin' one.

Ugh (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893735)

So, is Web 3.0 going to be hectic dynamically tiled web design that looks like it belongs on TMZ and other gossip rags rather than respected news websites? There is such a thing as too much active content, you know

Re:Ugh (4, Insightful)

Elf Sternberg (13087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894085)

It depends upon how "active" you want it to be. RDF is mostly for the back-end anyway.

As a developer heavily involved in building RDF/RDFA utilities, I can't begin to express just how annoying it is to see a Slashdot header pointing to a "technical blog post" that has absolutely no mention of the technology used: nothing about the libraries or server platforms used; nothing about the trade-offs with client desktop vs mobile vs legacy (IE7 / FF3.x) vs. ARIA (accessibility). If you search through the article, you find a link to another article that says they use Silverlight (WTF!?) to handle their contentEditable stuff, Java as their RDFa store, and PHP as their deployment strategy. It looks like an overpriced, incoherent mess that's already headed for legacy status.

Re:Ugh (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894143)

You can make horrible UI's no matter what the web version used. Their tech guys are trying moving forward, while the designers aren't. What's your point, really?

Re:Ugh (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898323)

The BBC was one of the first websites to actually survive the Slashdot Effect (and report having done so), an achievement worthy of an award at the time. Their tech guys also invented the Dirac format (which they have yet to use for anything). The BBC multicasts at least some of their channels and provides the iPlayer for VoD-ing programs later (pity they don't support PPV for out-of-country, but it's a start).

As such, I'd say their tech guys have defined "forward" for the next decade for everyone else. It's good to see them continuing to experiment as well as adapt to the new medium. Research and development has pretty much died - where it ever existed - amongst many of the major television stations. Given their financial situation, I'm actually very impressed that they're putting money into technical innovation.

Re:Ugh (2)

MaxiCat_42 (711203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898645)

"Given their financial situation, I'm actually very impressed that they're putting money into technical innovation."

The BBC don't have a financial problem. They just tax everyone with a TV in the UK - even if you never watch their stuff. Other TV companies have to earn their money.

Phil.

Re:Ugh (2)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38900659)

and as such have produced much of the best tv ever produced.

so it's a price worth paying and well worth it if you want to compare against the networks paying millions to people probably not worth it, or endless friends&co re-runs....

Re:Ugh (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#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, pretend it's some evil that must be destroyed, but don't come fucking crying when we have the kind of sensationalist polarising bullshit you get from Fox News in the US - because that's Murdoch's vision for the UK. That's what Jeremy Hunt's support for Sky was designed to achieve, and that's what increased restrictions on the BBC will do. It'll also mean greater license fees in the meantime as the BBC's ability to generate revenue is also crippled, and it'll mean more axed products that really would take the merging of TV and technology forward.

Yes bills suck, but this is one I'm happy to pay, because it's a major factor in protecting the long term health of our already sickly democracy. There's a reason Russia and Iran were desperate to have TV channels in the UK, there's a reason countries like Iran, Syria, and previously Libya restrict who can produce TV, there's a reason US politicians, candidates, and shills like Sarah Palin are desperate to get themselves on TV as much as possible, there's a reason people like Berlusconi and Sarkozy became so prominent in the politics of their country having long had large stakes in media organisations in their countries - because controlling the media is a major factor in controlling power. Don't naively believe that UK politics is immune from that - god only knows the phone hacking scandal has demonstrated it isn't. The BBC is an important institution because that's precisely what it's designed to protect against - exploitation/corruption of the media as a route to power, rather than simply doing good politics.

If you've ever been one of those people on Slashdot that's asked why on earth governments listen to minority industries over things like ACTA, even though they risk harming far more profitable industries like technology then there's your answer - because Google doesn't get you elected, the likes of Fox News does.

Re:Ugh (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38903345)

Agreed, and it now also pays for the World Service (which used to be paid via the Foreign Office), not to mention virtually all local and national radio, not to mention the BBC news service, all royalties owed due to people ordering content via iPlayer, their research division (the Olympics is due to be shown in Ultra-High Definition TV, something for which there is no meaningful off-the-shelf hardware to support, they're having to make it themselves), etc.

For the longest time, it also covered the Radiophonic Workshop and their Costume Department - two exceptionally high-prestige units killed due to previous budget cuts.

The BBC, cost per unit of produce, is incredibly cheap.

The other thing the critics "forget" is that the channels that work via advertising still cost them money. The advertisers don't donate cash out of goodwill to viewers, they take it out the pockets of the product manufacturers, who in turn take it out of your pockets by raising the price of their goods. So you are subsidizing ad-based television channels via an invisible tax but a tax nonetheless. And since a lot of companies are global, you're subsidizing those channels in countries you will never visit.

The BBC is at least honest about what they bill you and uses that money in the country in which it is collected. Fox, et al, are not and do not.

I'd rather have an honest bill and know what I'm getting for it than a dishonest one where the produce is given to someone else instead.

Re:Ugh (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902427)

"Given their financial situation, I'm actually very impressed that they're putting money into technical innovation."

The BBC don't have a financial problem. They just tax everyone with a TV in the UK - even if you never watch their stuff. Other TV companies have to earn their money.

Phil.

Who would have a TV in the UK and never watch the BBC? About twelve people who just want Sky Sports, so fuck them and the Murdoch-faced horse they rode in on.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38901355)

That iplayer for non-UK consumers is in the pipeline. The problem is obtaining the relevant licensing deals. The BBC's own programming is generally farmed out to smaller producers these days, and has been for something like 15 years. This creates big issues when dealing with using the content outside the sphere of the license payer.

I'll Take Silver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38893793)

'BBC has rolled out the latest changes to its sports website.' Please!

Re:I'll Take Silver (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894343)

I'm afraid you've got bronze. Hognoxious [slashdot.org] and jginspace [slashdot.org] have the gold and silver, respectively. But don't worry, it's a very nice medal! With a swastika surrounded by the five Olympic rings, and everything! The National Spelling & Grammar Worker's Party has been honoured, and the cause of International Grammar Fascism advanced. We'll drive those dirty populist language reformers out of the Internet at any cost, and make them bleed red ink for disturbing our utopia of unambiguous syntax and inflection.

Re:I'll Take Silver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894583)

I'm afraid you've got bronze. Hognoxious [slashdot.org] and jginspace [slashdot.org] have the gold and silver, respectively. But don't worry, it's a very nice medal! With a swastika surrounded by the five Olympic rings, and everything! The National Spelling & Grammar Worker's Party has been honoured, and the cause of International Grammar Fascism advanced. We'll drive those dirty populist language reformers out of the Internet at any cost, and make them bleed red ink for disturbing our utopia of unambiguous syntax and inflection.

Being irritable about ignorance and laziness doesn't make someone a Nazi. It isn't Hognoxious' or Jginspace' fault that the OP failed school.

Re:I'll Take Silver (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896599)

Any genocide has to start somewhere!

Re:I'll Take Silver (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897355)

People who utilize improper punctuation are a blight upon civilized society, and must not be tolerated. What you call genocide, I call eliminating criminal elements.

They're monsters! I hear they eat their own grandmothers [zazzle.com] !

Re:I'll Take Silver (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898229)

Indeed. The purification of the English linguistic community, through the removal of degenerate elements, is a matter of utmost importance.

Some day, I swear, I will rewrite Mein Kampf so that it is about linguistic poverty.

2012, year of the semantic web! (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893799)

Unfortunately we have a bit of a backlog, and the year of the semantic web is current queued just behind the year of the linux desktop, so there may be a short delay.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (2, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896375)

What's the alternative to RDF and OWL?

And I'd say SPARQL is a good as it gets in terms of a derivative of SQL that's adapted to query triples instead of simple records. If you know SQL and understand RDF, it's pretty easy to pick up.

SELECT ?x ?name
WHERE { ?x foaf:name ?name }

The only difference there is that the condition is a triple, but that's inevitable.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897439)

Let me put it another way (And picking up on the flash example). You used to need flash to insert videos into web pages, but now there is a "video" tag. My gripe is not with RDF or OWL themselves (even though the fact that you can't compute the entirety of OWL kind of strikes me as a bit stupid - why go all out to then say "but you can only use # = 1"), but with SPARQL. They could have just added SPARQL like features to SQL and you'd only use it if you wanted... SQL uses tables, but isn't a table a matrix and aren't those one of the ways you can represent a graph?

Right now you need a specific setup to run things using semantic web, most of which I'd say are highly "unscalable", while requiring hacks to get simple functionality, for example, if you want to do a case insensitive queries, you need to either normalize your whole database to use lower/uppercase or use regular expressions to filter results (which, by my testing, makes it extremely slow).

Also, convincing your boss that you need to revolutionize their IT department for a non-specific gain is a lot harder than just using what you already have.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898399)

Three alternatives to RDF used by Google:

http://code.google.com/apis/gdata/index.html [google.com]
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/05/introducing-rich-snippets.html [blogspot.com]
http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/blogger/2009/05/12/google-support-rdfa-and-microformats/ [umbc.edu]
http://schema.org/ [schema.org]

Microsoft uses OData as well as Schema:

http://www.odata.org/ [odata.org]

OWL is a way to write schemas, making the logical alternative

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RDF_Schema [wikipedia.org]

Popular schemas include everything in this list. Schemas are not necessarily compatible and tools are usually written for a specific schema.

http://139.91.183.30:9090/RDF/Examples.html [139.91.183.30]

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901987)

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).

Youtube has nothing to do with RIA BTW, Flash was just used for video playback. Flash never became the standard for RIA, because RIA didn't really take off until Javascript performance and browser standardization made AJAX viable.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38902959)

Never said it was, but because of youtube flash got installed pretty much everywhere.

You said they never took off, but have you ever seen, for example, a blockbuster movie website made in the last 10 years? It's all flash. Same with big companies like mcdonnalds or coca cola.

And you mention AJAX, do you know what it is? Javascript, yes, but AJAX was not a game changer at all.

Re:2012, year of the semantic web! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895027)

I've been there, done that. The whole semantic data concept. And it's a nightmare.

The problem is the amount of work to create all the associations.
In essence it boils down to one of two choices:
Either for *each* change you make, you go through *all* entities in your database, and check them against your changed stuff,
or yo have to accept that your ontology is a incomplete chaotic useless mess.

So you usually start out trying the first, start to fail, accept the latter, and then give up because it became pointless.

Which means that unless we find a way to automatically read our minds to create the same associations we have in our brains without having to manually enter the changes of every learning event, it's not gonna happen.

I read TFA (yeah, *gasp* ;), and they use a enterprisey IBM "solution" that can "automatically" detect associations in natural language text. Which, as you can imagine, is crap. Because, not even a human can detect all those associations from the text of another human. It's basically snake oil, and works as well as e.g. Google Translate to hand-written Chinese [sky-wallpaper.com] , Inuktitut [oceansnorth.org] , Tifinagh [proel.org] and back. ;)

Shame... (3, Interesting)

unts (754160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38893863)

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... (1, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 2 years ago | (#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... (3, Interesting)

PDoc (841773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894097)

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."

Re:Shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896725)

A yellow/black theme is not OK unless your message is "Danger!"

Re:Shame... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894105)

The choice of bright yellow as a theme is awful. On the plus side, it's one of the few actively maintained sites that doesn't have advertising. So it's got that on it's side.

Re:Shame... (0, Troll)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894711)

it's one of the few actively maintained sites that doesn't have advertising.

Not quite. It's the BBC, so they are not allowed to advertise. But... they do, all the time. They are just more devious about it. Sure, yes, there's no banners or sidebars with ads. But they will make sure they get team's sponsor's logos in their pics, they'll mention sponsors names where possible, etc. As well as the fact that sport is a big-business commercial product all by itself. You can absolutely guarantee a lot of corporate branding on that website, by stealth, all through the Olympics.

Their sport pages admittedly seem to have less ads than their other webpages and TV and radio channels -- which are absolutely stacked full of viral marketing, press releases and "accidental" product shots.

There's nothing that some of the BBC's employed and sub-contracted producers, journalists, DJ's, and presenters like more, than to be paid twice for their job. Even if it is illegal under their Charter.

Re:Shame... (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896013)

What utter trollish shit.

For sure sports themselves have sponsors,and so if taking photos or videos of sports and sportsmen, any logos they are wearing will be in the picture. But to suggest that the BBC go out of their way to include such sponsorship, let alone ads, is the very opposite of the truth.

Take for example Snooker, which has always been heavily sponsored. The snooker page (as server in the UK) has no sign of any sponsors or ads, other than in a single photo where the logo is incidentally to be seen on the referee's jacket.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/default.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Shame... (2)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894947)

> On the plus side, it's one of the few actively maintained sites that doesn't have advertising.

They run advertising for users outside of the UK. Users in the UK don't see any advertising.

More information is in the BBC Online FAQ:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc.com/faq/ [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Shame... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895865)

> On the plus side, it's one of the few actively maintained sites that doesn't have advertising.

They run advertising for users outside of the UK. Users in the UK don't see any advertising.

OK, that makes sense. Good for us Brits then.

Re:Shame... (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894231)

It feels exactly like MSN, which is not a compliment. There is an upper limit to the number of links I can read on a single page before it becomes a "where's Waldo" experience. At this point I usually go to a search engine.

If the sucess of Facebook and Google suggest anything, it's that clean interfaces are appealing to most people.

Re:Shame... (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894407)

So if such an incredible amount of effort went into getting the HCI/UI/UX right, then why does it look... awful, just awful?

For consistency? [bbc.co.uk]

I think it's a corporate standard that things have to look like they were made by a 14 year old work experience boy.

Re:Shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895833)

Said the expert: http://stevekerrison.com/

Sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38893901)

...not Sports

I went to the BBC website today... (1)

thatbloke83 (1529851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894137)

...and got a shock.

It looks like it's a trial run for Microsoft's Metro UI that's going to appear in Windows 8. (Not a good thing, in my opinion).

Semantic publishing (4, Informative)

ygslash (893445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894177)

The interesting part is behind a link buried deep inside this post. It's the dynamic semantic publishing [bbc.co.uk] engine, which was originally used on their World Cup 2010 [bbc.co.uk] site.

Re:Semantic publishing (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894377)

There are many RDF-based languages (DublinCore, for example). Microsoft have their own metadata format and Google supports Microformats. The situation is an unholy mess.

OWL may or may not be the way to go, but there needs to be more of an effort to standardize the metadata or it will be impossible to utilize.

Re:Semantic publishing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38895269)

Obligatory xkcd reference.
http://xkcd.com/927/

Re:Semantic publishing (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38898139)

That would be meaningful, except that in this case the standards are 99.9% the same -except- that they're all in different namespaces, with the 0.1% difference not being in the use cases supported but in the nomenclature.

Unfortunately (1, Funny)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38894465)

Unfortunately two-thirds of the pages are reserved for corporate sponsors and the public is required to enter a raffle to have to have the opportunity of viewing the remaining pages, most of which are concerned with lawn bowling and tiddlywinks.

Only VISA is accepted for page view payments.

Do not attempt to drink non-sponsoring beverages whilst viewing the pages.

Note to non-UKians: this is indeed satire.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894941)

Note to non-English-speakers: if you're going to write satire (or any prose) in English, try to avoid foreign idioms like "UKians" or "USians". No native English speaker ever uses that form, and it is like ruining a joke by stuttering on the punch line.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38895029)

Note to non-UKians: this is indeed satire.

From someone else who is a UKian, and lives in Lincolnshire; this indeed is not satire..

how exciting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894717)

someone updated their website!!!!!!!

Semantic web my arse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38894929)

Where's the semantic markup? All I see is XHTML 1.0 with a shitload of minified inline scripts and a totally non-semantic DIV hell with more inline scripts. The element IDs and classes are purely presentational. If they have all these metadata stored, why don't they include them as microformats, microdata or, you know, RDF?

Typo: PDF (1)

Moskit (32486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38901665)

Submitter or editor made a spelling mistake. Site apparently uses a lot of PDF, which is a proprietary Portable Document Format.

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