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Re: Why bound prefixes are an anti-pattern in language design

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2009 19:34:28 +0100
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Martin McEvoy <martin@weborganics.co.uk>, Othar Hansson <othar@othar.com>, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1249670068.29751.46.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
On Fri, 2009-08-07 at 04:34 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Having said that, programming is far more complicated than writing
> markup should be, so even if that was exactly the same, I wouldn't
> like it as a precedent.

I certainly wouldn't consider the use of RDFa to be as complicated as

It's far simpler to sprinkle a bit of RDFa into a web page indicating
where semantically-enabled tools can find bits of data on the page, than
it is to write a program (in, say, Javascript) that is capable of
extracting such data.

It is true that there are some techniques (e.g. microformats) which are
simpler still, RDFa has other advantages (such as unambiguity and
consistency) which, in my mind, are worth sacrificing a little ease of
use for.

On the other hand, the current HTML5 draft *does* define a number of
features that *do* seem to require programmer-level knowledge to use:

	- the <canvas> element
	- the <datagrid> element
	- the Window object
	- Drag and drop

Et cetera. If programmer-level complexity should exclude a solution from
HTML5, then all these should be excluded ahead of RDFa.

However, <canvas> is an *optional* element. It is not *wrong* for people
to create web pages that do not use it. Thus the complexity is only
exposed to people who opt into using it.

RDFa is in the same boat - nobody is suggesting that people *must* use
it. Its complexity is only exposed to people who want to include
structured data in their pages.

Toby A Inkster
Received on Friday, 7 August 2009 18:35:16 UTC

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