W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > November 2011

RE: Normative vs Informative

From: Mo McRoberts <Mo.McRoberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 23:42:48 -0000
Message-ID: <2D51F7E4325EF540A7E484A7A19216071516A7@bbcxues15.national.core.bbc.co.uk>
To: "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, <public-xg-webid@w3.org>
Kingsley wrote:

> HTML with Microdata based structured data islands. An option to sit alongside: XHTML+RDFa and RDF/XML .

Brilliant! progress :)

Okay, so — first off, drop the philosophical stuff. Most people, and I honestly mean this in the nicest possible way, *don’t care*. This is a battle which is being played out pretty by you alone. Use RDF, don’t use RDF, it does’t matter from a religious perspective: what matters is taking each on its own merit.

So this is what you need to do if you want to take HTML+Microdata anywhere in WebID land, and I hope you do — because if not, this has been a colossal waste of all of our time—with apologies if some of them already have been (and if so, then the philosophical debates really WERE unnecessary):

1. Submit an ISSUE along the lines of “Support for HTML+Microdata profiles as part of WebID would be advantageous”, so that there can be formal debate (on merit) and vote on it (my take? if we’re doing RDFa 1.1, I can’t think of a good reason why not, the below notwithstanding)

2. Spec how a WebID profile graph would look serialised in terms of Microdata

3. Spec how an application can process RDF/XML _and_ RDFa _and_ Microdata in a uniform fashion for the basic verification (i.e, public key description)

4. Spec how an application can process RDF/XML _and_ RDFa _and_ Microdata in a uniform fashion for arbitrary information, such as profile fields (display name, homepage, online accounts, etc.)

The key here is that if there’s going to be traction, there needs to be ways for consumer to understand profiles published in *either* RDF/XML *or* RDFa (as currently specced) *or* Microdata. You can’t just pick one (because somebody else will also decide to pick one, and pretending that all things are equal, two thirds of people won’t pick Microdata); consumers have to be able to support all three or the whole thing’s a bust. This is not easy: with RDF/XML and RDFa (and Turtle, and RDF/JSON, and JSON-LD, there's already a common manipuable form as a set of RDF triples, so the 'cost' of adding yet another RDF serialisation is entirely in the parser. With something which isn’t RDF, you have to go further to make it work — and this isn’t some religious nuance, it’s purely a matter of inertia and practicality. Somebody, somewhere, has to do the work to reconcile them if you actually want them reconciled.

M.

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Received on Monday, 28 November 2011 23:43:22 GMT

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