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Re: HTML WG: ISSUE-120 Use of prefixes is too complicated for a Web technology

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 23:12:01 -0400
Message-ID: <4C9AC581.6020704@digitalbazaar.com>
To: nathan@webr3.org
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

I've tried to represent your opinion on HTML+RDFa and CURIEs in this
e-mail. Please correct anything in here that does not accurately
represent your position re: CURIEs/prefixes/etc in HTML+RDFa.

On 09/16/2010 06:47 AM, Nathan wrote:
> Is the HTML editor open to having first class support for
> prefixes/CURIEs in HTML, such as the introduction of a new metadata
> element "prefix" with the attributes @name and @href (or "curie" with
> the attributes @prefix and @href)?

I do not believe that Ian is open to that particular mechanism. Ian is
asserting that the use of prefix:reference mapping (aka: CURIEs) in
HTML+RDFa is too complicated for most authors and that they will get it

We have attempted to mitigate Ian's various concerns by introducing
three new concepts in RDFa 1.1 - allowing full URIs everywhere, RDFa
Profiles and the @prefix attribute. He is fine with allowing full URIs
everywhere. I'm pretty sure that he does not like the @prefix solution
as a replacement for @xmlns and would claim that the "solution" misses
the point. I'm also pretty sure that he is against having an indirection
mechanism where strings map to other strings declared earlier in the
document (the whole concept of CURIEs).

> i.e. is the HTML editor looking to introduce well defined and easily
> maintainable prefix/curie support in to HTML?

No, he is not.

> or conversely, is the HTML
> editor looking to relegate @prefix on the grounds that it's too
> complicated and difficult to maintain moving forwards, without proposing
> or seconding an alternative solution?

Ian is suggesting that any CURIE-like mechanism should be removed from
the HTML+RDFa specification. The alternative solution, as I understand
it, is to use full URIs everywhere, or pre-define tokens that should be
used when describing particular semantic objects... basically, what
Microdata does. He has also stated that he is open to other mechanisms
that accomplish our goals that have yet to be discovered.

> as an aside, if @prefix is defined by a specification which extends
> HTML, then does it fall under the HTML editors remit to maintain @prefix?

Strictly speaking, no it does not. Ian will most likely treat @prefix in
the same way that he has treated the HTML+RDFa spec, as something built
on top of HTML5.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Saving Journalism - The PaySwarm Developer API
Received on Thursday, 23 September 2010 03:12:36 UTC

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