W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2013

Microdata integration

From: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 18:03:38 +0200
Message-ID: <515C52DA.2000703@w3.org>
To: "HTML WG (public-html@w3.org)" <public-html@w3.org>
Hi all,

I've been poring over the way in which the HTML specification source is 
organised in order to split out Microdata (which as you know isn't split 
in the WHAT version) and I have come to the conclusion that it is 
problematic.

Without boring you with extensive diffs, the way it's done is basically 
this:

 Anywhere that Microdata integrates with other parts of HTML, some 
small sections, sometimes just a few words, are fenced off to ensure 
they don't get generated as part of the HTML draft.

 That content is then duplicated in a special section that is only 
included in the W3C Microdata draft.

I'm sure that the fine bunch of hackers that you all are can immediately 
spot the problem here. That content easily goes out of sync. What's 
more, changes fencing off (or, worse, failing to fence off) a few words 
here and there in a 120K lines document are easily missed.

So I don't think that that's a viable way forward, and am proposing a 
change. Microdata remains defined as a separate specification (I don't 
mind merging it if people prefer, but I don't think that that will be 
acceptable). However the integration points where it modified HTML are 
in HTML.

Before anyone climbs on any manner or form of high horse, here are the 
aspects that this has an impact on:

    Validation constraints (if you have itemprop, you must have 
href/src/etc.; some global attributes are added; under such and such 
condition some elements may becomes flow or sectioning content)
    A small change to DnD
    Appendix listings
    Acknowledgements

None of this in any way mandates MD, or grants it special status. It's 
just providing integration information, mostly for validators.

If this is a concern for RDFa people, I would be more than happy to 
entertain a similar set up for RDFa if you think it makes sense.

As a final note, please consider that while this is obviously open to 
discussion, maintaining the current system involves a lot of dull, 
error-prone make-work and painstaking bug and regression finding for the 
editors. We would therefore require that you kindly take that into 
account before objecting, and that you make sure that any objection are 
based on the type of solid concerns that justify sending sweet, 
innocent, funny, charming, and by and large beloved people into the salt 
mines of Mordor.

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 16:03:48 UTC

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