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Re: Applying Postel's Law to HTML Data

From: Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 17:17:12 +0100
Message-Id: <A289D019-9741-414B-8E0F-CF0591650EA7@jenitennison.com>
To: public-html-data-tf@w3.org
On 6 Oct 2011, at 05:18, Ivan Herman wrote:
> Even if consumers are liberal in what they consume (and they should be) a single syntax per page makes a site more readable, manageable, etc.

On 6 Oct 2011, at 13:01, Henri Sivonen wrote:
> That kind of choice for authors creates a long-term burden for all consumers.

So perhaps our guidance needs to be something like:

For publishers: You are likely to find that the markup within your pages is simpler and easier to maintain if you only use one format (syntax and vocabulary) within each page. To decide which to use, your first consideration has to be which consumers will read the data within your web pages, and which formats they support. These may include:

  * scripting libraries
  * browsers and browser plug-ins
  * general-purpose search engines
  * vertical or domain-specific search engines
  * data reusers with whom you have agreements

(and then further guidance on choosing a format if the consumers support multiple formats, or mixing formats if they don't)

For consumers (and I'm mainly thinking of small-scale consumers here, not global search engines or browsers whom I doubt need any guidance): You will find it easier to consume and combine data published using a single format (syntax and vocabulary). To decide which to use, you should first look at what formats your target publishers are currently using. It may be that these contain sufficient information for your application. If they do not, publishers will be more likely to publish extra data for you to consume if you:

  * extend existing common vocabularies they are already using
  * consume data from a syntax they already use

(and then further guidance on combining data from multiple syntaxes if the target publishers are using different syntaxes already)

How does that look?

Jeni Tennison
Received on Thursday, 6 October 2011 16:17:36 UTC

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