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Re: ISSUE-1: Status of RDFa Profiles

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 08:39:39 +0100
Message-ID: <4B9C92BB.5030605@w3.org>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
CC: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>

On 2010-3-12 11:46 , Mark Birbeck wrote:
> Hi Ben,
> In fact, I believe that we would have failed if we have not (a)
> provided them with a way to write things simply, like @rel="knows",
> and (b) ensured that they *never* need to use another prefix again
> (unless they want to).

While I full agree with (a), I actually disagree with (b).

My feeling is that we are forgetting about one of the major advantages
of RDFa over, say, microdata (and whether we like it or not, I consider
microdata as being here to say). And that is that RDFa scales gracefully
over vocabularies while microdata (or microformats) do not. And that is
due to the prefix mechanism. Ie, I would not go out of my way to hide
this or to relegate it to some sort of RDF geek/specialist corner of the
RDFa community.

As I said, the keywords mechanism is fine and essential. Of course, CC
can provide a profile document if they wish so, and people will use it;
it is not very complicated because the CC vocabulary is relatively
small. For FOAF I begin to doubt; and if I look at the bibliography
ontology, or the music ontology, I just do not believe that it is
realistic to expect that anybody would come up with a keyword vocabulary
for those, ie, a vocabulary file that would list each individual terms
in those URIs to avoid using bibo: or mo: or foaf:. It is also
unrealistic to expect an individual author to take the time and energy
to form a separate vocabulary file for, say, the subset of bibo he/she
would use locally. On the contrary, we should loudly encourage users to
use a prefix mechanism when and if they need it and we should make it
easier than using just a load of @xmlns attributes. Ie, to paraphrase
you I think we will also fail if we have not provided authors with a way
to write prefixes simply.

And, I am sorry Mark to disagree with you again, I maintain that a
separate prefix and keyword mechanism are simpler concepts to grasp for
non-experts than mixing the two together...



> (Imagine a new version of the primer which doesn't mention prefixes
> until right at the end in an advanced section. :))
> So in short, we don't need to convince the average author that
> prefixes and tokens are the same thing, because most authors won't
> even come across them. And for the advanced author, it's no big deal
> that they are the same thing.
> Regards,
> Mark
> --


Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
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Received on Sunday, 14 March 2010 07:39:14 UTC

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