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Re: ISSUE-76: Need feedback on splitting Microdata into separate specification

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 08:39:00 -0500
Message-ID: <4AD725F4.5010002@burningbird.net>
To: public-html@w3.org
> On Oct 14, 2009, at 18:45, Manu Sporny wrote:
>
> > 2. Ensuring that all normative references to RDFa and Microdata are
> >   removed from the HTML5 specification:
> >
> >   http://html5.digitalbazaar.com/specs/html5-nosemantics.html
>
> I think you mean removing normative references to Microdata. It's  
> rather misleading to suggest you are removing normative references to  
> RDFa when there are none to begin with.
>
> > * Having the RDFa and Microdata specification separate from the HTML5
> > specification will allow those technologies to evolve independently  
> > from
> > HTML5 (after REC).
>
> I don't think Microdata needs to be split for this reason. If it  
> really turns out there's a need to update Microdata before the  
> bureaucracy cycle makes updating HTML itself feasible, that bridge can  
> be crossed when/if we get there by publishing a delta spec then.
>
> I don't support the removal of Microdata from HTML5 and I don't  
> support the inclusion of RDFa in HTML5. This is because I think they  
> aren't equally good choices for the Web.


I also want to introduce the concept of fair play into this discussion.

To this point, those of us who have lobbied for certain aspects of 
change to HML5 have had to run further, prove more, ask harder, fight 
more, provide better arguments, provide better examples, etc, just 
because one person is the sole author of the HTML5 specification, and 
just because a small group of browser vendors and their IRC buds, have 
an inordinate influence on the future of HTML5.

Yes, inordinate. HTML5 isn't just for browser developers, or a few folks 
who go crazy over all the Ajaxy stuff HTML5 can do. HTML5 also has to be 
for web developers, designers, people concerned about accessibility, 
people needing accessibility, other tool builders, library creators, CMS 
creators, folks interested in semantics, folks not interested in 
semantics, and the simple Jane and Joe just creating simple web pages. 
Frankly, there is a lack of diversity when it comes to HTML5.

It seems the opinion among those who typically frequent a certain IRC, 
is that folks who disagree with the HTML5 author are: stupid, useless, 
shrill, joke-worthy, and so on. Our arguments are always bad, our 
choices are always wrong, our interests always less important, our 
concerns, unjustified.

No where in any of this, is a sense of fair play.

Oh, we can have votes on stuff, but there's a reason why votes are 
typically not wanted in groups such as this and that's because it's too 
easy for the majority in the group to override the minority 
interests--but the makeup of this group doesn't necessarily reflect the 
web at large, and the minority interests are what add that necessary 
diversity to HTML5.

We should be producing a specification that meets the diverse needs of a 
broader community, not the specific needs of browser developers, and a 
group of people who want a lot of cool Ajaxy stuff, and who disdain 
pretty much anything the W3C has done in the last decade.

The HTML+RDFa folks have voluntarily put this specification into a 
separate document, so it doesn't increase the size of the HTML5 
spec--that people don't have to wade through the spec, just to find out 
how to use the basic HTML markup. They have done so, both for HTML5, and 
for the spec. No one, not even those who support RDF/RDFa has suggested 
dumping Microdata. What has been suggested is that Microdata, like 
RDF/RDFa, like Microformats, which seemingly has done well as a separate 
effort, could be split out into a document of its own, and allowed its 
own chance to mature, and gain acceptance. More importantly, removing 
that component of the specification begins the process of trimming down 
what is too large and too complex a specification.

Henri, I don't remember you ever having an interest in metadata. In 
fact, I've always had the impression from you that you think it's over 
rated. I don't remember you providing a use case for metadata, or even 
being particularly interested in the discussion at the time. The only 
time you seemed to be interested is when someone talks about RDF or 
RDFa. So your interests seem less to do with supporting Microdata, and 
more to do with doing what you can to block RDF/RDFa. That doesn't 
strike me as either fair, or even logical, because Manu's proposal 
doesn't suggest incorporating RDFa into HTML5.

So, lets forget about RDF and RDFa. That's no longer in the picture. 
What is it about Microdata, and keeping it in the HTML5 specification, 
rather than as a separate document, that is so important to you? What 
need of yours does this fulfill? Instead of just saying:

"I don't support the removal of Microdata from HTML5 and I don't  
support the inclusion of RDFa in HTML5. This is because I think they  
aren't equally good choices for the Web."

Forget RDFa for the moment: what is it about Microdata that's important 
to you, personally?

>
> -- 
> Henri Sivonen
Shelley
Received on Thursday, 15 October 2009 13:39:37 UTC

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