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RDFa, FUD and ethics

From: Stéphane Corlosquet <scorlosquet@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2010 15:08:45 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=uDCjdgHnQ9tcgLxE+1YTxVagQhJYTU5Yd58CD@mail.gmail.com>
To: Public RDFa <public-rdfa@w3.org>
Cc: "Clark, Lin" <lin.w.clark@gmail.com>
Hi,

There's been an interesting conversation going on about the use of RDFa in
Drupal 7 and whether it's ethical or not, see
http://groups.drupal.org/node/83914

What is being questioned is not the implementation of RDFa in Drupal 7 in
itself, but the fact that it is enabled by default when people install the
software on their server. It's very easy to opt out and turn off RDFa, but
the claim is that newbies will not know what RDFa is or won't even realize
it is on. In this case, we might be forcing them to get into the semantic
web and find their data being reused in ways they might not have thought
of. I think it's great they raised this concern, I'd rather have this
discussed sooner rather than later. Lin and I have been trying to address
the various concerns expressed in that thread, but I wonder what people in
this list think of the overall RDFa switch on by default. I understand this
list might have a biased opinion, but I'm hoping some of you can play the
devil's advocates...

I was trying to find similar examples to compare with this situation, but I
can't think of any widely used software shipping with RDFa by default. The
closest I can think of are services like identi.ca which publish FOAF data
and as far as I know there is no way for people to opt out. Should such
services or website start advertising that they will release data about
their user as RDF(a)? Some time ago I remember some fuss about services
which started publishing RDF data (was it livejournal?) and they had to turn
it off.

Here is hoping to learn from the older/wiser folks from this list and avoid
some FUD down the road... Shall we simply turn off RDFa and let people turn
it on when they see fit?

cheers,
Steph.
Received on Monday, 9 August 2010 19:09:30 GMT

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