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Re: Comments on HTML Microdata, W3C Working Draft 24 June 2010

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:28:59 +0000
Message-ID: <4CFE8AFB.6070204@webr3.org>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: public-html-comments@w3.org, Thomas Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Tue, 7 Dec 2010, Nathan wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> I've used dce: and dct:, since now the example has both.
>> A general comment, microdata appears to be incredibly verbose for 
>> authors when using multiple vocabularies to describe things, the example 
>> at http://dev.w3.org/html5/md/#examples is almost painful to read, let 
>> alone write.
>>
>> Is there no way to reduce the repetition of long URIs for properties and 
>> types as illustrated by the Turtle equivalent in the referred to 
>> example? Does HTML or Microdata cater for this in any way?
> 
> When we did the usability studies for this we found that in practice (and 
> much to my surprise) the verbosity had no impact on the usability of the 
> language, so we didn't do anything to reduce it.

I'd love to see those results, any chance of a link to them? as they 
seem to conflict with almost all usage of URIs I've seen in both the 
general development community (for instance usage of relative vs 
absolute URIs in documents) and in the semantic web community 
(widespread use of prefixes everywhere, essentially the same as relative 
URIs but where the base differs from that of the "current" document).

> Furthermore, in practice, most use cases for microdata don't involve 
> multiple vocabularies but a single vocabulary explicitly named using 
> itemtype="", for which the vocabulary's short names are used.

If I understand correctly, that's because microformats constrain 
vocabularies to only describing a single type of thing, and this has 
spilled through in to microdata thus constraining descriptions of things 
to only use a single vocabulary. I'd be very surprised, shocked even, to 
find that this covered most use cases, and whilst I can see how simple 
usage may be common in the early days, moving forwards ever more complex 
usage and descriptions are sure to become common place - just as people 
no use far more than just <a> <b> <i> and <p> in html.

Best,

Nathan
Received on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 19:29:55 GMT

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