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Re: A new approach to accomplishing RDFa Profiles

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 20:28:28 +0000
Message-ID: <640dd5061003201328g13a11521m6e64165842e50aa2@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>
Hi Manu/Ivan,

Ivan said:
>> 1. we have a proposal to allow @xmlns to define not only prefixes by
>> directly keywords (I think that is what Mark is proposing). Ie, @xmlns
>> would be a generic mechanism to define, possibly, full URIs)

Manu replied:
> I don't think that this is solely what Mark is proposing - or rather,
> his proposal has more to it than this. So, while this has been discussed
> separately at times, it's a part of the @token proposal.

My 'Tokenising the semantic web' proposal from last year was primarily
saying that since we already allow this (with colon):

  <a rel="knows:" ...

why don't we allow this (without colon):

  <a rel="knows" ...

By extension, this is saying that there is no difference between a
prefix and a token, but the main thing I wanted to clarify is that
this proposal is completely independent of how tokens are declared. It
could be with @xmlns, @vocab, @something-else, vocabularies, OWL, or
whatever we invent.

I'm raising this because there seems to be a feeling that this is more
radical than it actually is. For example, he says:

  Ie, @xmlns would be a generic mechanism to define, possibly,
  full URIs

The point I made in the blog post is that @xmlns *already* defines
full URIs. It just so happens that the 'full URI' is used to point to
a namespace, and that that namespace is used to create yet a *further*
URI.

All I'm saying is that it's not an enormous leap to use the first URI,
without having to go off and use the URI to create further ones -- so
hopefully you see why it's not really that radical.

I realise that some people don't like the fact that prefixes and
tokens now occupy the same space, but I do feel that we're now at a
point where the onus should be on those people to come up with more
than just 'I don't like it', or 'authors won't get it'.

The reason I feel compelled to ask for this to be properly discussed
is that by doing what I'm suggesting, we do a number of crucial
things:

First, we get the Microformats-like simplicity that we agree we need.

Second, we allow token collections to be defined that take terms from
a number of different vocabularies (because a token maps to a URI, not
to a vocabulary).

And third, we harmonise our predefined values (like 'next' and 'prev')
with our token system (significant for people using RDFa in other host
languages).

So, I'm happy to debate different ways of defining tokens, but I do
feel that first of all we should discuss this -- otherwise it keeps
getting lost in amongst all the other debates, when actually it
doesn't really rely on any of them. (I thought we had agreed on this
already, to be honest...but I may be wrong.)

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 Saturday, 20 March 2010 20:29:02 GMT

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