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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-120 rdfa-prefixes

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:36:00 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTin=9OdJfH1Seq63KTtmTeg0AKQs+CE8iSoyQ2_C@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Based on some private correspondence, please consider this to be a
Formal Objection.

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 8:53 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 7:59 AM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
>> === Arguments not considered:
>>
>> Following are either direct quotes or paraphrases of arguments which
>> were put forward which were not considered.
>>
>>  Running examples from the OpenGraph Protocol site through the
>>  facebook linter shows that removing the prefix declaration has no
>>  effect but changing it prevents any properties from being recognised.
>>  Code inspection of some of the other tools indicates that there are
>>  clients in Python, PHP, Ruby and Java that depend on literal matching
>>  of the string "og:".
>>
>> No change proposal was put forward suggesting that all usages be
>> migrated to fixed prefixes.  Nor was there any evidence put forward
>> that fixes to these tools would break content.  The fact that these
>> tools have bugs is uncontested but that, in itself, does not help
>> identify the proposal that draws the weakest objections.
> ...
>>  It would be important to know if Facebook's and Google's content
>>  consuming code could be made work with prebound prefixes for
>>  compatibility with legacy content that uses prefixes.
>>
>> We only consider proposals which actually were put forward.  Neither
>> change proposal proposed standardizing Facebook's or Google's prefixes.
>
> I object to these two arguments not being considered, as they are
> directly relevant to the "we already have legacy content using
> prefixes" argument, which was considered to be the strongest argument
> and thus in need of disproving.
>
> If a large fraction of the legacy processing tools do *not* recognize
> the prefix mechanism, but instead rely on fixed prefixes (that is,
> just specially-qualified names), then that is strong evidence that
> prefixes are too complicated, as multiple tools get them completely
> wrong.
>
> Further, if, as a result of multiple tools actually recognizing
> specially-qualified names instead of names with namespace prefixes, a
> significant percentage of authored content contains "invalid" RDFa
> with wrong or missing prefix declarations, that is also strong
> evidence that prefixes are too complicated, and further, it is strong
> evidence that the "legacy content" does *not* actually use the prefix
> mechanism, but instead uses another mechanism to specially-qualify the
> names (generally, fixed prefixes) which is invalid according to RDFa
> and which would *fail* to be processed in conformant RDFa processors.
>
> That last bit is very important.  If we must have RDFa, then I
> strongly object to any decision which pushes us down the RSS path
> where no processor is conformant, and the successful processors must
> use expensive reverse engineering to find the union of non-conformant
> behaviors which successfully process an appropriately large fraction
> of legacy content.  We're already walking this road, but we change
> course with appropriate action now.
>
> ~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 17:36:55 GMT

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