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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 12:26:39 -0500
Message-ID: <4AD75B4F.8030606@burningbird.net>
To: Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>
CC: public-html@w3.org
Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Shelley Powers
> <shelleyp@burningbird.net> wrote:
>   
>> 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.
>>     
>
> The same argument can be made against essentially any power structure.
>  You can't give any individual or group extra power without denying
> everyone an equal voice, and you can't give everyone equal power
> without causing minorities to get steamrollered.  Thankfully, in the
> standards world this is a less formidable problem than in actual
> government, because dissenters always have the ability to make their
> own competing standards.
>   

Not necessarily. Minorities can make themselves felt, after the fact, if 
not before or during. It's just that after the fact may not be pleasant 
for everyone involves.

> Which, hey, is how HTML5 started.  A few years ago the ones in charge
> of HTML's future were all in favor of things like XML namespaces and
> RDF.  Some other people thought they could do a better job, gave it a
> shot, and ended up winning.  So it goes.  If RDFa is clearly better
> than Microdata, the way HTML5 was clearly better than XHTML2, then the
> worst case for you is that Microdata gets ignored and taken out of the
> spec eventually when there aren't enough implementations.  If being in
> the spec is all that's needed to let Microdata win, I guess it can't
> have been too much worse to start with.
>
>   

"taken out of the spec eventually..." This one bothers me. There's an 
assumption, and I've seen it before, that the same group that exists now 
will somehow "own" HTML throughout the ages. That Ian Hickson will 
continue to be the sole editor of HTML, through HTML6, and HTML7, and so 
on.

That is an exceptionally bad attitude to have, and inherently 
destructive to HTML5.

We should take the time to do HTML5 right. It may need modification 
later on. It may need change. But a goal should be to create a 
specification that can live on, as long as possible. That it is built in 
such a way that it continues into the future. It should have only what 
it needs.

We should never just write anything into the spec with the assumption 
that we'll just yank it later if no one is interested. Because there 
probably will be _some_ implementation, and then we'll have the battle 
of broken web pages. Not to mention that, whoa, that's not a good 
defense of Microdata.

Is that your defense of Microdata? Leave it in, because we can just pull 
in a later version of HTML? I can't believe that, you must have more 
extensive reasons for your interest. Could you provide those?

> Anyway, obviously some people aren't going to agree on this no matter
> what.  Since neither side is willing to compromise enough to satisfy
> the other, both sides are putting themselves at risk of losing
> entirely.  And the winner will be decided by some group of people
> (vote/chairs/etc.) who at least one party will deem biased.  But
> that's unavoidable, so let's just be done with it, IMO.  Write up a
> change proposal, let someone object, follow all the little arrows and
> let the chairs figure out how to deal with it.  Then accept whatever
> the result is and move on.
>
>   
Winner? The only winners here should be the people who end up with 
whatever comes out of this working group.  Our effort shouldn't be a 
contest. It should be an example of cooperation.

In the mean time we're in the middle of a discussion. Do you have 
specific reasons why you personally need and want Microdata, and why you 
feel that Microdata _must_ be a part of the HTML5 specification?

Shelley
Received on Thursday, 15 October 2009 17:27:15 GMT

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