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Re: RDFa as a UI extension mechanism

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 08:37:13 +0100
Message-ID: <ed77aa9f0807160037h28ab48d4yf11f8aa3c99454a9@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Manu Sporny" <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: "RDFa mailing list" <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>

Hi Manu,

> HTML and XHTML standards tend to be increasingly large undertakings
> whose time frames from beginning to end approach multiple years. Some
> standards processes are approaching a decade to complete and the future
> only holds longer release cycles unless the standards bodies can find a
> way to modularize the work.
>
> XHTML Modularization was a step in the right direction. The HTML 5
> route, while a noble undertaking, could be improved via the use of RDFa
> semantics to provide functionality. This article outlines a potential
> method for improving the standardization processes for XHTML and HTML
> family languages by using vocabularies to define functionality instead
> of the traditional ELEMENT/ATTRIBUTE route.
>
> http://rdfa.info/wiki/rdfa-as-ui-extension-mechanism

Good work. :)

It so happens that the XHTML 'extension-points' (RDFa and @role) very
much have the scenario you are describing in mind. I've written a few
things on extending XHTML in this way, for example:

  <http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/2006/07/xhtml-role-attribute-small-and.html>
  <http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/2006/08/using-role-attribute-to-extend-xhtml.html>
  <http://internet-apps.blogspot.com/2006/10/declarative-accessible-ajax-with-html.html>

Note that @role is used to illustrate the points, which is not at all
to say that it's wrong to use @typeof in the way you have; for remote
documents it works well.

I tend to see RDFa as providing semantics about the data in the
document (the video URL, for example), whilst @role provides semantics
about the document itself. In your example, using @typeof is a good
way to do it, but as we look at your issue, we might want to start
considering a version of RDFa that has something to say about @role.

One other aspect of my posts might be worth pointing out; I use the
idea of an identifier to grab a concept that can be reused. In the
second post above, I illustrate this idea using the XForms hint
element. But in your example it might be a URI that represents the
HTML 5 video element.

The key point is to gain a set of semantics from someone else's
vocabulary, and just leverage them by placing a URI in @role or
@typeof.

In other words, although we'd use the XHTML extension-points to add
new features, we don't necessarily want to define the semantics for
those features.

Regards,

Mark

-- 
Mark Birbeck, webBackplane

mark.birbeck@webBackplane.com

http://webBackplane.com/mark-birbeck

webBackplane is a trading name of Backplane Ltd. (company number
05972288, registered office: 2nd Floor, 69/85 Tabernacle Street,
London, EC2A 4RR)
Received on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 07:37:52 GMT

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