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Re: Microdata as W3C Note vs. W3C Rec.

From: Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 19:09:19 -0500
Message-ID: <CADC=+jcu=3qoUn9mmP1zOWkWKYWbZPz3GZVebVrpuraQyU7SRw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Eric Franzon <eric@semanticweb.com>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 1:57 PM, Eric Franzon <eric@semanticweb.com> wrote:

> Hello all,
> As an AC Rep (for SemanticWeb.com) and as someone who regularly interacts
> with developers just being introduced to Semantic Web concepts for the
> first time, I am writing to state my agreement with the position outlined
> by Manu Sporny in this post:
> http://manu.sporny.org/2012/microdata-cr/
> Moving Microdata forward toward recommendation status adds confusion in an
> area already rife with confusion. I believe that Microdata should be
> published as a W3C Note.
> Best,
> --Eric
> --
> *Eric Axel Franzon*
> Vice President of Community
> SemanticWeb.com
> 6080 Center Dr., 6th Floor
> Los Angeles, CA 90045
> eric@semanticweb.com
> LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/ericfranzon
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/SemanticWeb

It seems to me that the whole worry here is entirely about "messaging" from
W3C specifically.  In Manu's words "...[it] will hopefully correct the
confused message that the W3C has been sending to Web developers regarding
RDFa and Microdata.  We don't need two specifications that do almost the
same thing."  Eric's comments above echo the same points above.

However, the same folks seem to be admitting that such a move doesn't make
microdata "illegal" or anything - other orgs (like Google) will continue to
push their investment in Microdata.  Numerous sites will continue to exist
that use microdata and schema.org, etc... I'm not sure what the
relationship between the WHAT-WG and W3C versions will become if W3C did
that as it seems to me likely that WHAT-WG wouldn't remove it.

In other words, there is a tacit admission that nothing will prevent the
battle for hearts and minds between these technologies from actually
occurring in the real (outside W3C) world - it will just give one more
shiny sticker to one and not the other that people will point to and say

Thus it really seems that the messaging is really about nothing more than
W3C effectively picking a winner that they will officially back as the One
True Way.  My own problem with this is two fold:  First, simply that I
don't see that history bears out W3C as a great place for doing that at
this stage in the game and messaging plays both ways: If you ultimately
wind up voting against the thing users choose, it doesn't help the value of
your shiny stars - it devalues them.  What W3C _is_ really good at it seems
to me is helping to keep some kind of check on things and ultimately
certify things that are widely implemented and adopted and smooth the rough
edges of disagreement in the process.  Second, there are already numerous
variants, profiles, subsets and supersets of things that can accomplish
almost the same thing, often in very similar ways.  To act as if this one
is any different seems somewhat exceptional and I have to wonder why.

Finally:  I want to be really clear that I have no stake in this game - I
don't represent any major interest or significant group - and frankly I
don't love either of them, but that isn't what matters most to me.  If you
look at many of the ideas that preceeded the technologies that are common
on the Web, they have some aspects in which they are technically superior
to their successors, but they didn't "win" because they weren't accepted to
the same degree and that is worth much, much more.  My interest is entirely
in the fact that I love the openness and (controlled) competition of the
Web and I really like W3C - I just want to see them both do well and I
think preventing this CR is a negative.
Received on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 00:09:48 UTC

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