W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org > February 2009

Re: RDFa and Web Directions North 2009

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 10:01:55 +0200
Cc: RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Message-Id: <49D1E3E1-67A5-4746-9C51-55A9D33AE750@iki.fi>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
[CC trimmed per Manu's instruction.]
On Feb 18, 2009, at 17:13, Mark Birbeck wrote:

>> It is not a bug, because none of the conforming features of HTML5  
>> (or HTML
>> 4.01) depend on attributes than have a colon in their local name in
>> text/html making it harmless to throw them away in non-browser apps.
> Same goes for any attribute name beginning with four z's, or
> containing the sequence 'banana'; none of them are required by any
> particular spec, yet removing them would be somewhat cavalier.

The difference is that "zzzz" and "banana" are XML 1.0 4th ed. plus  
Namespaces NCNames and, thus, are permissible as XML local names.  
"xmlns:foo" is not an XML 1.0 4th ed. plus Namespaces NCName.

> But I note that you say "in non-browser apps"; are you saying that
> attributes beginning "xmlns:" would be preserved in an HTML5 browser?

They'd be preserved, but their namespace URI and local name would  
differ from the XML side.

>> However, for many other things, there isn't a (bogus) claim that  
>> you only
>> need to add five attributes or so and that's all. RDFa involves a  
>> countably
>> infinite number of attributes that are of the most problematic kind.
> Ah...the bogus word again. You certainly have a rapier-like debating
> style, Henri...no mistake.
> Of course, whether something is bogus or not is exactly what debates
> are supposed to prove, so throwing the word around adds nothing.

Is it in your assessment correct (aka. non-bogus) to advocate RDFa as  
merely adding six no-namespace attributes to (X)HTML?

I claim that RDFa adds six no-namespace attributes *and* a countably  
infinite number of attributes of the form xmlns:foo to HTML.

The latter happen to be different in HTML as it exists and XML 
+Namespaces as it exists meaning that they need special care compared  
to the six attributes. Therefore, the continued focus on the easier  
part while sweeping the more problematic part under the rug, even if  
sincere, gives the appearance of trying to sneak the more problematic  
part into HTML.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Thursday, 19 February 2009 08:03:03 UTC

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