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

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 08:35:40 -0500
Message-ID: <4AD876AC.7090901@burningbird.net>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: public-html@w3.org
Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Oct 15, 2009, at 16:39, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> 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.
> The size of the HTML5 spec doesn't bother me.
>> 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.
> Indeed. Working on metadata at the National Archives Service (of 
> Finland) made me a non-believer.
> Subsequently elsewhere, I was assigned to a death march metadata 
> project, which was like a caricature of overmodeling the domain 
> without asking if the benefit of the meticulous metadata was ever 
> going to justify the cost of developing the system let alone getting 
> people to input the metadata. I can see the same pattern in Semantic 
> Web evangelism from time to time.
>> Forget RDFa for the moment: what is it about Microdata that's 
>> important to you, personally?
> I can see that there's demand for addressing the use cases that 
> Microdata and RDFa address even though those use cases aren't my 
> primary interest. I care about what's good for the Web and how 
> solutions impact software that I work on. When I see that the use 
> cases are going to be addressed even if addressing them isn't what I'd 
> personally focus on, I prefer them to be addressed in a way that's 
> better for the Web and doesn't have an adverse impact on the software 
> I work on. Microdata addresses the concerns I've raised about 
> Microformats and RDFa over the years.
How can you say it addresses your concerns when you don't care for 
metadata, and it seems like you compare it to some form of evangelism?

Your response is a negative, it's an against, a counter, not anything 
positive, or interested, or involved in any way.

So how can that make you a good judge, even a mediocre judge of what 
works "best" when it comes to metadata? You've picked up some technical 
aspects you don't like, and you've decided anything that would eliminate 
these has to be good. Yet the people that created these ideas and 
concepts have worked for years, not against something, but _for_ 
something. They did it because they are positive about the concept, 
interested, and involved. And capable, as difficult as seems to be to 
accept for too many in this working group.

If anything, you, like everyone else who have responded to this 
discussion have given a good reason to remove Microdata from the HTML5 
specification, into its own document. If it is the superior approach you 
deem it to be, it will succeed; if it is not, then the HTML5 document 
will not be burdened with the dead body of a mini-specification that 
does _not_ meet the needs of the people truly interested in metadata.

Received on Friday, 16 October 2009 13:36:19 UTC

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