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Re: RDFa and Web Directions North 2009

From: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 19:26:42 -0800
Message-ID: <499639F2.7070302@adida.net>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
CC: 'Ian Hickson' <ian@hixie.ch>, 'Manu Sporny' <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, 'RDFa mailing list' <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, 'Sam Ruby' <rubys@intertwingly.net>, 'Dan Brickley' <danbri@danbri.org>, 'Michael Bolger' <michael@michaelbolger.net>, public-rdfa@w3.org, 'Tim Berners-Lee' <timbl@w3.org>, 'Dan Connolly' <connolly@w3.org>

Jeremy Carroll wrote:
> 
> I think Ian makes a good case here.
> For many years SW technology has been suggested as a plausible good answer to common problems.
> But for most of these problems there have been better point solutions using non-SW technology.

The funny thing about this is that you're the SW guy working on actual
triple stores, while Manu, Mark, and I never really did work on SW until
we found that we needed to do very specific things that were solved by
some aspects of SW :)

> We have to solve problems for which SW technology is at least as
> good, preferably better, than any current solution for it to take
> off.

Completely agreed. Creative Commons didn't decide "we need SW", we
looked for solutions to our specific problem of expressing licensing
rights, and we found *some* semantic web ideas to be useful, but not
quite as useful as we needed, so we invested time into adapting this to
HTML, thus our contribution to RDFa.

I think the same goes for Mark, Manu, and others. We're not trying to
apply SW to HTML (though some people are and I understand their point of
view, too). We have specific problems, and we realize that they are most
easily solved if we work together, thus a solution like RDFa.

In a followup email, you said:

> At a wild guess, this is the heart of the technical disagreement:
> The additional 4 attributes might cost too much for people who do not need or want or gain benefit from RDFa.

I don't see why that is, given that we're not asking browsers to
implement any specific features other than make those attributes
officially available in the DOM.

> Might it be possible to carry the same information within HTML5
> without imposing the cost on people who don't need it.

The cost of change for the sake of change to the existing RDFa community
is enormous, as it makes the syntax incompatible with existing parsers,
existing publishers, etc.

In fact, I would say the cost of doing it *differently* is higher for
HTML5, too, since none of our test suite, none of our parsing rules,
none of our existing work could be reused. Currently, as Mark has
mentioned, a *lot* of our work can be easily reused by HTML5, including
our test suite.

-Ben
Received on Saturday, 14 February 2009 03:27:21 GMT

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