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Re: Proposal to publish HTML5 and vocab specs

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 08:10:49 -0400
Message-ID: <4AE834C9.3040802@intertwingly.net>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
CC: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, public-html@w3.org
Julian Reschke wrote:
> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> ...
>> Let's be clear.  What Julian was stating was that we had affirmed RDFa 
>> in HTML.  I simply stated that the level of affirmation (i.e., Working 
>> Draft) was precisely the same for RDFa in HTML as it was for 
>> Microdata.  It still is possible that neither of them will make it to 
>> CR.  Or both of them.  Or just one.
>> ...
> 
> I still disagree on that. Microdata was put into the spec based on a 
> unilaterally decision of the editor. The WG failed to get it removed 
> before publishing a WD, true, but that's not quite the same thing as 
> having made a conscious decision to include it.

I understand that perspective.  Looking just this feature in isolation 
-- while it was authored by a single person, it still is a fact that it 
attracted both interest and contributions from others.  It would have 
met my personal criteria for publishing in as an independent draft, as 
clearly RDFa obviously did.

Let's look again at your original statement:

> The point I'm trying to make is that this WG made a decision to work
> on RDFa, and publish it as FPWD, but, unless I'm missing something,
> did *not* do that for Microdata (which was suddenly dropped into the
> spec, and which has been controversial since).

In both the RDFa and Microdata cases, a subset of members of the group 
decided to work on that particular feature.

In both cases, the working group decided to include that feature in a 
published working draft -- and in neither case was there any guarantee 
that the feature will remain intact to Last Call let alone to Candidate 
Recommendation stage.

In both cases, the feature is controversial, and has been since day one 
of each feature.

I will grant you that the creation of Microdata was sudden.  Here there 
clearly are different editorial styles at work.  Ian's approach is to 
publish early and often -- seeking broad input and revising quickly. 
 From my perspective, it took seemingly forever to get the RDFa folks to 
publish anything, at which time quite a number of issues were identified 
that are now being actively worked.  Different styles, with strengths 
and weaknesses to both.  And, I will confess, I have a preference for 
Ian's earlier and broader participation approach.

We've asked for rationale to be pulled together and consolidated as to 
why RDFa should be in a separate spec, and we got it.  We've asked for 
rationale to be pulled together and consolidated and have yet to get it. 
  Given that I still expect that either this will be done, or that 
Microdata will voluntarily be split out, I would rather not speculate 
any further than I already have[1] on possible futures.

I believe that the treatment that each feature has received is more 
alike than you seem willing to concede.  I'll even go further and say 
that the key reason that RDFa in HTML wasn't published in, say, April 
was that it hadn't been written yet.

My advice to everybody is spend more time pushing *for* features and 
aspects that you like, and only spend time pushing *against* features or 
aspects that you can't live with.

> BR, Julian

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Oct/0981.html
Received on Wednesday, 28 October 2009 12:11:23 UTC

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