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RE: HTML+RDFa Heartbeat Draft publishing request

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 15:03:17 -0800
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
CC: RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D5FE09F@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
Manu, I'm sorry for not saying this earlier, but I think the
'status of this document' section still needs work. Three
changes (rationales below):

(1) non-endorsement

< The publication of this document by the W3C as a W3C 
< Working Draft does not imply that all of the participants
< in the W3C HTML working group endorse the contents of the
< specification. Indeed, for any section of the specification,
< one can usually find many members of the working group or 
< of the W3C as a whole who object strongly to the current text, 
< the existence of the section at all, or the idea that the
< working group should even spend time discussing the concept
< of that section.

Proposed rewrite:

> The publication of this document by the W3C as a W3C 
> Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the majority
> of members of the W3C HTML working group or the W3C
> as a whole. In particular, there are one or more
> alternate methods of adding data without using
> RDFa namespaces [microdata], discussions of alternate 
> extensibility mechanisms [issue-41] which might allow
> other ways of integrating RDFa, as well as concern
> that continued development of this document belongs
> in a different working group.

(2) responsible group

< The W3C HTML Working Group is the W3C working group
<  responsible for this specification's progress
< along the W3C Recommendation track.

proposed rewrite:

> This specification has been developed by the
> RDFa Task Force http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/HTML/

> and is currently being published by the W3C HTML
> working group to further discussions there.

(3) Mailing lists:

< Vendors interested in implementing this specification
< before it eventually reaches the Candidate Recommendation
< stage should join the aforementioned mailing lists
< and take part in the discussions.

proposed rewrite:

> Vendors interested in implementing this specification
> should note the status, and are encouraged to join
> the RDFa task force.

========================================================
Rationale for (1)

Reviewers of a document should actually be *informed*
by the "Status" section, rather than given nonsensical
and useless disclaimers ("Objects may be closer
than they appear.") as seems to happen with most
consumer products these days. 

I know this text appears in the main HTML5 document, but I don't
think it is appropriate there or here either. It might have
been appropriate there at some time in the past, but we're way
past the point where, for *any* section of the document, one
can *usually* find *many* members of the working group
who object strongly to the text, and especially (for these
"split out" drafts) that there are *many* members who object
to the existence of the specification or sections of it,
or that the working group should time discussing the concept.

We also now have a mechanism, for the main HTML specification,
to indicate which sections are controversial (or at least
those that have open bugs or ISSUEs against them.)

The work on splitting the HTML5 document into sub-documents,
and continuing to label open issues, allows replacing
the useless disclaimer with one that is actually informative.

I see that there are several positions, ranging from
"this document is fine as it is", to "HTML doesn't
need RDFa and RDFa should go away". My own position
is that, although I think RDFa is an interesting 
addition to HTML, its addition to HTML should be
based on a general extensibility mechanism
(or possibly a set of mechanisms) rather than as a
special case that is only designed for RDFa, 
as has been done here.

=========================
Rationale for (2)

Whether the HTML Working Group is the W3C working group
responsible for this specification's progress along
the W3C Recommendation track should be left open.
Since this statement appears in the "status of this
document" section, it isn't subject to its own caveat,
so I think this should not be left as a fait accompli.

============================
Rationale for (3)

Asking vendors who are interested in RDFa in HTML
to join public-html-comments and take part in
discussions there is counter-productive, since
that isn't where discussions have been held.

Asking people to send comments to public-html-comments
is fine (for now). Asking vendors to join the public-html
mailing list might be OK, but it's a noisy channel
and if all they're interested in is RDFa in HTML,
the RDFa  (X)HTML task force would be a more useful
venue for them.
==============================

Regards,

Larry
--
http://larry.masinter.net


Received on Thursday, 21 January 2010 23:05:26 UTC

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