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[Bug 7670] Use of prefixes is too complicated for a Web technology

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 17:36:49 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1MohO5-0007eS-Li@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #8 from Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>  2009-09-18 17:36:49 ---
(In reply to comment #6)


I appreciate that you don't like this technology, and that your vision doesn't
include something that is arbitrarily extensible.  I and others disagree with
you.  You claimed (in the subject of this bug report) that "Use of prefixes is
too complicated for a Web technology".  I mentioned a number of technologies
that are widely deployed on the web.  You then attempted to disqualify those
examples as uninteresting.  

This is a classic technique in debates, but I am going to have to call
"bullshit" on it.  All of the examples I cited support prefixing (or the
creation of references that map to other symbols).  All of them are deployed on
the web.

Every new technology starts out with the same amount of adoption - zero.  Over
time, that number will increase.  RDFa is young, but it already has adoption
significantly higher than zero.  And all of that adoption uses the simple
prefixing technique that XML Namespaces introduced.

Beyond that, RDFa is a W3C Recommendation that has the support of the semantic
web community.  Is it perfect?  Of course not.  Is it complete yet?  Of course
not.  Does that mean that we should ignore it and deploy some other, less
capable technology with no semantic web community support in HTML5?  I don't
think so.

But this issue goes WAY beyond RDFa.  It goes to the heart of the issue of
extensibility.  The W3C's vision for the architecture of the web relies upon
decentralized extensibility.  The ability for anyone to define a grammar and
incorporate that grammar in to their markup.  RDFa supports this architecture -
and one of the ways it does so is by incorporating the basic concept that "x"
means "something longer than x", and allowing the content author to define both
of those things.  I won't apologize for supporting that concept.  Shame on you
for trying to dumb down the web by not supporting it.

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