W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2010

RE: hidden meta data and bolt on attributes

From: Leonard Rosenthol <lrosenth@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:35:53 -0700
To: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D23D6B9E57D654429A9AB6918CACEAA97CA6884543@NAMBX02.corp.adobe.com>
And Shelley - you're only pointing about the metadata in the main page, but there is also the case that each image in the document contains metadata (most likely based on RDF/XMP as defined by the MWG).   Metadata is a wonderful thing and we should embracing it, not fearing it!

Leonard

-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Shelley Powers
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:21 PM
To: HTMLWG WG
Subject: hidden meta data and bolt on attributes

I'm reading the minutes from the Accessibility TF teleconference
today, and see the following[1]:

"we are facing an endemic fear of invisible meta-data and meta-data in general"

"one of the main objection it is hidden, so will probably be incorrect
or out of date"

"hidden meta data is bad, details has hidden data by default"

This also follows on from the discussion of attributes being "bad"
because they're bolted on, which underlies the supposed 'inferiority'
of ARIA as compared to built-in elements.

I don't know where these ideas originated, but meta data and "hidden"
page data has been around for over a decade, and has successfully been
integrated into most web pages. There is meta data that covers how the
document is to be served, the character set, microformats for calendar
information, RDFa for covering broader semantic interests, and a host
of other uses.

As for business use: this week Facebook, the most popular web site in
the world today, began an effort to integrate "hidden" meta data,
using "bolted-on" functionality. This follows from a Drupalcon keynote
address primarily focused on the new integration of RDFa into the next
release of Drupal7, a CMS that accounts for 1% of the web pages today.
That 1% may not seem like much, but think of the exponential growth of
the product. As it is, Wordpress, which accounts for 9% of the web
sites today, also makes use of hidden meta data and "bolted on"
attributes. And that's just two tools -- many other tools also use
meta data and bolted on attributes in various forms.

Are these hidden meta data and bolted on attributes useful? Not long
ago, Best Buy reported that the use of such hidden meta data and
bolted on attributed increased traffic to the company's web site by
30% [2].

I do not know where the assumption came from that bolted on values,
which encompass both RDFa and Microformats, and "hidden" meta data is
bad, but there is nothing to back any of this up, and I for one will
be challenging whenever I see it raised from this point on.

Shelley

[1] http://www.w3.org/2009/12/17-html-a11y-minutes.html
[2] http://priyankmohan.blogspot.com/2009/12/online-retail-how-best-buy-is-using.html
Received on Thursday, 22 April 2010 19:36:33 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:17:08 GMT