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

Re: chaining-friendly rules for @instanceof

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 10:34:41 +0000
Message-Id: <37EF733E-A8A1-4B20-9937-90FFA7715F46@formsPlayer.com>
Cc: RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>

Hi Manu,

Obviously I agree with the bulk of your post, but there are a couple  
of things that I'd like to flag up. The first is that you say this:

> Ben's approach is best if "Ivan knows a person, that knows a person
> named Ralph" is a more important use case than the "Keep it simple and
> easy to understand" and  "Allow cut-and-paste - don't flip/flop
> semantics based on the existence of certain properties".

My point is that these are two separate and distinct axes; support  
for particular use-cases is one axis, and ease of authoring and  
consistency is another axis. As it happens, the use-cases you  
describe are possible without the @instanceof rule, as I showed in my  
post, and I will explain that in more detail, shortly.

But the second axis of simplicity and ease of authoring is critical  
for adoption, and it would be a real shame if we forgot that. Indeed  
I'm very surprised that in just a few short weeks we've dropped what  
used to be a mantra, chanted at the beginning of every telecon (that  
the language should be simple and consistent) in favour of:

> In the end, I don't think it is going to
> matter that much. People are going to be using RDFa authoring tools to
> write this stuff for them, anyway.

I have to strongly, strongly disagree! :) (Did I say strongly... ;))  
This is something that I've heard so many times in other W3C groups,  
when working on mark-up languages, and it simply never happens.  
Authoring tools do not--unfortunately--appear the night before a spec  
becomes a standard, just in time to help the public use your complex  

(I know that this 'authoring tool' discussion was had at the last  
telecon, and I apologise that I wasn't there to "strongly, strongly"  
disagree at the time. :))

I know that people have often been dismissive of microformats from an  
RDF perspective, but surely their initial rapid success shows what is  
possible if things are kept simple and easy to explain?



   Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer

   mark.birbeck@formsPlayer.com | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
   http://www.formsPlayer.com | http://internet-apps.blogspot.com

   standards. innovation.
Received on Thursday, 15 November 2007 10:35:13 UTC

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