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

From: Andreas Kuckartz <A.Kuckartz@ping.de>
Date: 27 Nov 2012 07:28:56 +0100
Message-ID: <50B45DA8.7010505@ping.de>
To: public-html@w3.org
Maybe a bit late, but I agree with the objection by Manu Sporny.

It does not help to have two standards for the same purpose but only
leads to confusion.

Or does anyone here think that creating an ISO standard for Office Open
XML in addition to the the ISO standard for Open Document Format was a
good thing? (Representatives of Microsoft please do not raise your hands
:-)

Cheers,
Andreas
---

Manu Sporny:
> On 11/14/2012 05:15 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> In accordance with both the W3C process's requirement to record the 
>> group's decision to request advancement[1], and with the steps 
>> identified in the "Plan 2014" CfC[2], this is a Call for Consensus
>> (CfC) to request transition to CR for the following document:
>>
>> http://htmlwg.org/cr/microdata/Overview.html
>>
>> Silence will be taken to mean there is no objection, but positive 
>> responses are encouraged. If there are no objections by Monday, 
>> November 26th, this resolution will carry.
> 
> I object to publication of Microdata as a REC-track specification as it
> duplicates over 90% of the functionality already provided in RDFa 1.1,
> another REC specification published by the W3C. Further elaboration on
> this objection can be found here:
> 
> http://manu.sporny.org/2012/microdata-cr/
> 
> Duplicated for the purposes of archival at W3C:
> 
> Objection to Microdata Candidate Recommendation
> 
> Full disclosure: Iím the current chair of the standards group at the
> World Wide Web Consortium that created the newest version of RDFa,
> editor of the HTML5+RDFa 1.1 and RDFa Lite 1.1 specifications, and Iím
> also a member of the HTML Working Group.
> 
> The HTML Working Group at the W3C is currently trying to decide if they
> should transition the Microdata specification to the next stage in the
> standardization process. There has been a call for consensus to
> transition the spec to the Candidate Recommendation stage. From a
> standards perspective, this is a huge mistake and sends the wrong signal
> to Web developers everywhere. The problem is that we already have a set
> of specifications that are official W3C recommendations that do what
> Microdata does and more. RDFa 1.1 became an official W3C Recommendation
> last summer. The fact that RDFa already does what Microdata does has
> been elaborated upon before:
> 
> Mythical Differences: RDFa Lite vs. Microdata[1]
> An Uber-comparison of RDFa, Microdata and Microformats[2]
> 
> Hereís the problem in a nutshell: The W3C is thinking of ratifying two
> completely different specifications that accomplish the same thing in
> basically the same way[3]. The functionality of RDFa, which is already a
> W3C Recommendation, overlaps Microdata by an embarrassingly large
> margin. In fact, RDFa Lite 1.1 was developed as a plug-in replacement
> for Microdata. The full version of RDFa can also do a number of things
> that Microdata cannot, such as datatyping, associating more than one
> type per object, embed-ability in languages other than HTML, ability to
> easily publish and mix vocabularies, etc.
> 
> Microdata would have easily been dead in the water had it not been for
> two simple facts: 1) The editor of the specification works at Google,
> and 2) Google pushed Microdata as the markup language for schema.org
> before also accepting RDFa markup. The first enabled Google and the
> editor to work on schema.org without signalling to the public that it
> was creating a competitor to Facebookís Open Graph Protocol. The second
> gave Microdata enough of a jump start to establish a foothold for
> schema.org markup. There have been a number of studies that show that
> Microdataís sole use case[4] (99% of Microdata markup) is for the markup
> of schema.org terms. Microdata is not widely used outside of that
> context, we now have data to back up what we had predicted.
> 
> It is typically a bad idea to have two formats published by the same
> organization that do the same thing. It leads to Web developer confusion
> surrounding which format to use. One of the goals of Web standards is to
> reduce, or preferably eliminate, the confusion surrounding the correct
> technology decision to make. The HTML Working Group and the W3C is
> failing miserably on this front. There is more confusion today about
> picking Microdata or RDFa because they accomplish the same thing in
> effectively the same way. The only reason both exist is due to political
> reasons that I wonít go into here.
> 
> If we step back and look at the technical arguments, there is no
> compelling reason that Microdata should be a W3C Recommendation. There
> is no compelling reason to have two specifications that do the same
> thing in basically the same way. Therefore, I object to the publication
> of Microdata as a Candidate Recommendation.
> 
> Note that this is not a W3C formal objection at this point. This is an
> objection to publish Microdata along the Recommendation track. This
> objection will become an official W3C formal objection if the HTML
> Working Group continues down the path to Recommendation with Microdata.
> The formal objection will not be filed if a decision is made to publish
> the Microdata specification as a W3C Note. I believe the publication of
> a W3C Note will continue to allow Google to support Microdata in
> schema.org, but will hopefully correct the confused message that the W3C
> has been sending to Web developers regarding RDFa and Microdata. We
> donít need two specifications that do almost exactly the same thing.
> 
> The message sent by the W3C needs to be very clear: There is one
> recommendation for doing structured data markup in HTML. That
> recommendation is RDFa. It addresses all of the use cases that have been
> put forth by the general Web community, and itís ready for broad
> adoption and implementation today.
> 
> If you agree with this blog post, make sure to let the HTML Working
> Group know that you do not think that the W3C should ratify two
> specifications that do almost exactly the same thing in almost exactly
> the same way. Now is the time to speak up!
> 
> -- manu
> 
> [1] http://manu.sporny.org/2012/mythical-differences/
> [2] http://manu.sporny.org/2011/uber-comparison-rdfa-md-uf/
> [3] http://xkcd.com/927/
> [4] http://webdatacommons.org/vocabulary-usage-analysis/index.html
> 
Received on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 08:15:39 UTC

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