W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org > April 2007

Re: HREF attribute in elements other than A and LINK

From: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 08:26:02 -0400
Message-ID: <4624BCDA.8090503@adida.net>
To: mark.birbeck@x-port.net
CC: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>


(Chair hat off)

Mark Birbeck wrote:

[...]

> My point about starting with a 'mental model' is only to suggest that
> we look at how something fits with existing HTML, and existing
> practice. The idea was simply that if we're happy with the model we
> can look at how we explain it to other people. (It's actually how
> nearly everything in RDFa has been designed, just not always
> explicitly.)

So, I'm not happy with the model of adding HREF everywhere in something
called XHTML1.1+RDFa. Mark, you've always pointed out that RDFa is
primarily aimed at HTML authors adding semantic markup. I mostly agree
with you. With that assumption, I can only imagine an HTML author being
thoroughly confused by HREF everywhere, wondering, "where's the
clickable link? How do I *make* it clickable?". Why would an HTML author
do this? What is the use case that would lead him to put an HREF on a
DIV as far as the HTML author is concerned? This adds a whole level of
inherently invisible metadata, where the primary goal of RDFa is to mark
up visible data.

Regarding acceptability of this approach, I'm in full agreement with
Ivan on this: the backlash against this will be enormous. We *have* to
plan for it, and, more importantly, we have to ask ourselves: what is
the cost/benefit of this quasi-ensured backlash? I see a high cost, and
I don't see the benefit wrt our goals.

Finally, the biggest worry I have is regarding the perception of this
change. If we add HREF in a bunch of places, we're really changing the
document model for HTML in ways that even adding REL didn't do (since
that is still about marking up visible content). It's not XHTML1.1
anymore. It's clearly XHTML1.2. And the perception will be that we're
trying to squeeze XHTML2 features into XHTML1 via RDFa. That is a
dangerous proposition: we should not make RDFa an even bigger lightning
bolt for criticism, if we can help it.

-Ben
Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 12:26:25 GMT

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