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Re: CfC: Request transition of HTML Microdata to Candidate Recommendation

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 21:05:02 -0500
Message-ID: <50B2CE4E.3090009@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 11/25/2012 02:00 PM, Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
> I don't see that Manu's objection is based on technical grounds
> (with the exception of confusion arising from complementary
> technologies for the same functionality), and I do not see any
> restriction in the process that stops W3C making complementary or
> competitive technology for different functionalities. I am therefore
> unconvinced.

The technical ground for the argument is the unnecessary duplication of
functionality between Microdata and RDFa Lite 1.1. Simply put, doing a
text search and replace of Microdata attributes with RDFa Lite 1.1
attributes generates the same data output. We have two specifications
that do the same thing in almost exactly the same way - their effective
difference is the names that are used for the DOM attributes:

http://manu.sporny.org/2012/mythical-differences/

To put it another way, if I decided to write a spec extension to HTML5
called IMAGE, which introduced a new element (IMAGE) with a new
attribute (@source), members of this group would rightly point out that
doing so is counter-productive since we already have IMG and @src.

>> In cases where the W3C has tried to do push "correct technology" 
>> (as you put it), like with XHTML 2.0, it ended in absolute failure
>>  and years wasted in frustration (and it cause entities like the 
>> WHATWG to form and take the place of the W3C in certain sectors).
> 
> Yes. Encouraging a proliferation of organisations making "standards 
> for the web" and competing against each other strikes me as a
> serious problem worth some effort to avoid. In particular, I believe
> it is far worse than the level of confusion that can arise when W3C
> says "here are two ways to encode machine-readable data - pick the
> one that suits you".

That's a straw-man. I never said stop work on Microdata entirely, as was
the case for the HTML5 vs XHTML2 debacle. I merely stated that it
largely duplicates an existing spec at W3C (RDFa Lite 1.1) and that we
should move it to a W3C Note track. That doesn't prevent people from
using it nor developing on it at W3C. Since this group would continue
working on it, it wouldn't encourage "competing standards making bodies"
proliferation.

There is a great deal of work that could be saved by going this route
with the Microdata spec. This Working Group is already taxed for time
and resources. Moving some of our work items (like Microdata) to a W3C
Note track would help us focus more on problems that don't already have
a solution. Things like focusing more on the main HTML5 spec.

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: The Problem with RDF and Nuclear Power
http://manu.sporny.org/2012/nuclear-rdf/
Received on Monday, 26 November 2012 02:05:33 GMT

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