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Re: attempting to merge the 'vocab' and 'profile' documents

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2010 19:06:01 +0100
Message-ID: <4B968E09.6020602@w3.org>
To: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>
CC: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>, W3C RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>

I am actually not sure what we are arguing about.... If you think that
you have to convince me about the necessity of keyword mapping and
definitions, then don't:-) I know it is important...

You argued against having any mechanism of having a prefix mapping
altogether, and I think that is where we have a disagreement: I think
prefix mapping is important, _too_. Maybe it is a matter of perception,
ie, communities. Indeed, you say:

Putting it another way: a mechanism that lets you bulk declare prefixes
does nothing to simplify the author's required understanding of RDFa,
it's just a syntactic sugar for many @xmlns's.

and I do not dispute that: yes, it is only syntactic sugar. But a very
important one for many. Let us not forget that many authors of RDFa come
from the RDF world, for them using different namespaces is the most
natural thing of the world, but they are still pissed by the many
prefixes they have to declare (and I am one of them!:-). For example,
W3C could also publish one vocabulary file where it can put all the
standard prefixes for rdf, rdfs, xsd, owl, skos, etc, together, and
people would not have to look those up all the time. I could add my own
collection of vocabularies, including those listed, plus foaf, dc, sioc,
cc, you-name-it, to make my life easier. Syntactic sugar, yes, but an
important one. And, to be frank: I do not see any problem in adding this
sugar, if it can sweeten some authors' life...

The only thing this discussion convinced me: even if it is technically
possible to 'merge' the two mechanisms into one, maybe we should not do
that, just to avoid screwing up people. I have outlined, in my previous
mail, how the current document could be changed in keeping things
separate, and I am happy to work it out in the document if I get a
'mandate' to do so...



On 2010-3-9 18:12 , Ben Adida wrote:
> On 3/9/10 1:01 AM, Ivan Herman wrote:
>> If we forget about the 'how we do it' for a moment, I think having a
>> mechanism to put the zillions of xmlns: statement into one place and
>> replacing it with one reference is important.
> I disagree, because
> (1) there are hardly going to be zillions of xmlns statements,
> (2) if you're simplifying the author's life but leaving prefixes in
> there, the author still needs to be acutely aware of the idea of
> combining vocabularies, scoping terms, etc... so I think we're not
> really making the average author's life any easier.
> (3) the major use case to tackle, I think, is Google's, where they
> basically redefined a vocabulary and made the prefix as unintrusive as
> possible: 'v'. I suspect they'd rather get rid of the prefix altogether.
>> Would we require the vocabulary publishers to publish
>> separate RDFa vocabulary files to publish separate keywords URI-s, too,
>> beyond the RDF files they already publish? This simply does not scale
>> for vocabularies that may hundred or more terms...
> I don't understand what you mean. If, as a publisher, I want to use 5
> terms from DC, 3 terms from FOAF, and 2 terms from CC, I would put
> together a vocab with keywords that point to those 10 terms, and use
> those keywords. That's a little bit more work up front to pinpoint the
> terms I want to use, but it's a lot less work in each actual HTML file,
> which is exactly the trade-off we want, right? We want some people
> defining easy-to-reuse vocabs, and many people just using them.
> Putting it another way: a mechanism that lets you bulk declare prefixes
> does nothing to simplify the author's required understanding of RDFa,
> it's just a syntactic sugar for many @xmlns's. I think that buys us very
> little. On the other hand, a mechanism to let you define your own
> keywords means *significantly* less stuff to understand for the user of
> that vocabulary, so that certainly fulfills the goal of simplifying
> authoring work.
> -Ben


Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
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Received on Tuesday, 9 March 2010 18:05:41 UTC

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