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Re: A proposal for establishing an RDFa IG

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 12:34:45 -0400
Message-ID: <4A54CAA5.6050905@intertwingly.net>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
CC: RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Manu Sporny wrote:
> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> Manu Sporny wrote:
>>> We will be developing further RDFa specs - whether it happens inside the
>>> W3C or outside the W3C is still up in the air.
>> I hope that this work can be done inside of the W3C.  If there is
>> anything I can do to help, let me know.
> 
> I believe that almost everyone in this community hopes that the work on
> RDFa can be done inside of the W3C. The latest XHTML2 announcement has,
> unsurprisingly, made those involved in work related to XHTML2 a bit jumpy.
> 
> One of the responsibilities of the RDFa Task Force is to ensure the
> long-term viability of RDFa. If long-term viability can only be achieved
> outside of the W3C, then so be it.
> 
> We are far removed from that possibility now, but we were saying the
> same thing about XHTML2 several months ago. Life is full of surprises. :)
> 
> I have yet to speak with the Task Force about this proposal, but think
> that it fits with the consensus at the moment. Here is what you, Chris
> Wilson, Mike Smith, Doug Schepers, Dan Connolly, Philippe, TimBL (and
> the rest of W3C) can do:
> 
> *Publicly* support an RDFa Interest Group (IG) that operates
> /independently/ of SVGWG, HTMLWG, and WHATWG. The RDFa IG should advise
> each group on the implementation of RDFa in each language, perhaps even
> writing (or helping to write) the draft language to be
> included/referenced in each spec.
> 
> Since RDFa can be applied to a variety of languages, the work undertaken
> by the IG does not wholly belong in the HTML WG, the WHAT WG, nor was it
> going to belong to XHTML2 for much longer. Since the majority of the
> work is already done, it also does not need the W3C resources associated
> with a full WG.
> 
> If RDFa is going to continue to flourish, the technical work should be
> insulated to a large degree from the political flotsam and jetsam left
> in the wake of W3C, XHTML2, HTML5, and WHATWG. Every day spent
> attempting to figure out how to navigate the W3C Policy waters, lately -
> an increasing part of this Task Force's time, is time lost on RDFa.
> 
> So, if you would like to help - help us ensure that there is an RDFa IG
> that operates independently of each one of these contentious groups.
> State it publicly, and push the rest of W3C management that may be
> sitting on the fence to make it happen... and make it happen publicly.

Before I agree, let me give my perspective.  People are going to use 
RDFa in HTML, and as such I feel that such usage should be documented, 
test suites set up, and libraries made to interoperate, yadda, yadda, 
yadda.  I don't happen to agree that that work as largely done.

The word that troubles me most in the above is "perhaps".  If you see an 
IG as potentially one that exclusively gives "advice", then frankly I 
don't see that as a path to success.  And if such is entirely separate 
from the HTML WG, then /perhaps/ (<grin>) I'll check in from time to 
time and make comments, but I will be perfectly honest: this activity 
won't have my full attention.

Talking specifically about a "RDFa in HTML" draft, I don't see how 
anybody can take a position that microdata is in scope for the HTML WG 
and RDFa in HTML is not.  As such, if there is interest in working on 
such a document, then I will do my part to enable those who wish to do 
so have direct access to CVS, etc.

If that is the intent instead, then I fully support that work.  If there 
is enough overlap between the people doing the work for HTML and those 
doing the work for SVG that it makes sense to formally recognize this as 
an IG so that a separate mailing list can be set up for coordination, 
then I think that's a dandy idea.

>> Ben Adida wrote:
>>> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>> What is currently in the HTML 5 draft has not yet been found to enjoy
>>> consensus.  I encourage people to work with the editor to get changes
>>> that they feel necessary made to this draft.
>> To date, Ian's approach has been far from that of an impartial editor
>> with whom such differences can be worked out. Manu tried, really hard,
>> for a long time, at which point Ian dreamed up microdata. Let's stop
>> pretending that this is a viable path.
> 
> To clarify my personal intentions, I will continue to push on WHATWG for
> HTML5+RDFa. I started doing it because there was hope in convincing
> WHATWG to adopt RDFa in a slightly modified form. That hope has been all
> but extinguished over the past 7 months. Now I find myself doing it
> because I'm a standards masochist. It's the Doug Schepers vs. Microsoft
>  (include native SVG in IE, dammit!) school of thought (and suffering).
> I'm starting to enjoy the repeated rejection. :)

You are welcome to work with the WHATWG, but there is no requirement 
that you do so.  I gather that Ben would rather work directly with the 
HTML WG.  That's OK too.

> -- manu

- Sam Ruby
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 16:35:26 GMT

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