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Re: RDFa and Web Directions North 2009

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 12:40:59 +0000
Message-ID: <ed77aa9f0902180440l18ef1ae6ke052a2e8db8fb730@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>, Karl Dubost <karl@la-grange.net>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, Michael Bolger <michael@michaelbolger.net>, public-rdfa@w3.org, RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Hi Dan,

>> There are two aspects to this debate. Some people want RDFa to be
>> added to HTML5, and that browsers do something with it. I'd love to
>> see that too, but then I'd also like to solve world hunger, and teach
>> the world to sing.
>>
>> The second aspect of this debate is that, provided the HTML5 spec
>> doesn't do anything that breaks backwards-compatibility with current
>> browsers, then we can *already* do clever stuff with RDFa in HTML5. We
>> don't need anything extra in the specification -- thanks for asking.
>
> I think you're missing a case here:
>
> Many of us are working in environments where (at least looking to the
> future) documents are expected to be (in some sense) valid. And for better
> or worse, HTML5 looks like it will be the (or at least "a") dominant
> browser-supported document format, which many people and organizations will
> want to use (eg. for the new APIs and fun extras). Those of us who hope to
> have such documents carry RDFa will be out of luck, if we're in
> organizations who have some commitment to validating their HTML. Sure, those
> orgs are in a minority, ... but they are a minority with a lot of
> interesting and important data.
>
> So, I think you miss an important constituency here.
>
> Those who:
>
>  * don't need browsers to do anything with the RDFa other than tolerate it
> and expose it in low-level APIs
>  * expect HTML5 to be widely used
>  * expect to have RDFa embedded in HTML5
>  * expect those HTML5 + RDFa documents to validate

Not at all...I'm very much aware of that constituency. In fact,
despite the enormous amount of work that it has involved, I have
always pursued my ideas through the W3C, rather than outside of it,
for that very reason.

But when the W3C itself doesn't seem to know where it stands on the
question of standards, it leaves a lot of people in an uneasy
situation. So my point is that *first and foremost*, provided that the
HTML5 spec doesn't mess up the use of getAttribute() to obtain
attributes that have a colon in their name, then we can parse RDFa in
HTML5 browsers using JavaScript, just as we do today.

Beyond that, everything else is a bonus. However, I think it would be
a mistake to let this first point pass, in the hope that it is
resolved as part of the bigger discussion -- that's too risky.

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, 18 February 2009 12:41:37 GMT

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