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Re: ISSUE-76: Need feedback on splitting Microdata into separate specification

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 07:54:35 -0600
Message-ID: <643cc0270912040554u5531d53bn5d135b7ead69c7ca@mail.gmail.com>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Cc: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>
On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 2:45 AM, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com> wrote:
> Quoting Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>:
>
>> Let's set aside for the moment your view that Microdata is a better
>> technical solution than RDFa. Let's assume that we were unable to
>> decide which of RDFa or Microdata is better, and for whatever reason
>> it's not possible to make a technology with all of the advantages and
>> none of the disadvantages of both. Let's also stipulate that we think
>> the use cases they address are worth addressing. In that case, what
>> would be the right course of action for the Working Group? Include both
>> in the main spec? Include neither? Something else?
>
> I think I would note that proponents of RDFa have, by and large, favoured
> the multiple-spec approach whereas proponents of microdata have, by and
> large, favoured the single spec approach. Noting that the group has shown
> willingness to drop features that have not succeeded, I would be happy with
> the status-quo as that lets each technology develop in the environment its
> proponents feel gives it the best chance to improve.
>
> I should also note that I would be very much against a vote on killing one
> of the technologies. That seems as nonsensical as, say, a vote to kill off
> either Haskell or Javascript. The two technologies do have a large degree of
> overlap in functionality but have fundamentally different design approaches
> that may be appropriate for different people in different situations. If one
> or the other is indeed so superior that the other need not exist, that
> should become clear from usage. It is not something that can reliably be
> determined up front by committee.
>
>

On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 2:45 AM, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com> wrote:
> Quoting Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>:
>
>> Let's set aside for the moment your view that Microdata is a better
>> technical solution than RDFa. Let's assume that we were unable to
>> decide which of RDFa or Microdata is better, and for whatever reason
>> it's not possible to make a technology with all of the advantages and
>> none of the disadvantages of both. Let's also stipulate that we think
>> the use cases they address are worth addressing. In that case, what
>> would be the right course of action for the Working Group? Include both
>> in the main spec? Include neither? Something else?
>
> I think I would note that proponents of RDFa have, by and large, favoured
> the multiple-spec approach whereas proponents of microdata have, by and
> large, favoured the single spec approach. Noting that the group has shown
> willingness to drop features that have not succeeded, I would be happy with
> the status-quo as that lets each technology develop in the environment its
> proponents feel gives it the best chance to improve.
>
> I should also note that I would be very much against a vote on killing one
> of the technologies. That seems as nonsensical as, say, a vote to kill off
> either Haskell or Javascript. The two technologies do have a large degree of
> overlap in functionality but have fundamentally different design approaches
> that may be appropriate for different people in different situations. If one
> or the other is indeed so superior that the other need not exist, that
> should become clear from usage. It is not something that can reliably be
> determined up front by committee.
>
>


What we need to do is remove RDFa from this discussion, period. Folks
who support RDFa have already pursued a course where RDFa is not in
the HTML5 specification. We no longer need to continue discussing RDFa
in this regard. If the only way we can discuss Microdata is in its
relation to RDFa, then I think that tells us that Microdata really has
nothing going for it on its own.

This discussion, and these proposals have to do with Microdata. Let's
focus on Microdata.

I have been spending time noting other sections that I would like
removed from the HTML5 specification, both in the interests in
modularization, and hopefully to refocus this specification back on
what are the key components: HTML, XHTML, and the DOM. So when I say I
want Microdata out of the spec, I'm not saying that specifically
because I want it dead. I'm saying it, because this specification is
messily large, unfocused, has a real hard time determining audience,
and yes, is too big--if we consider the components currently in the
spec that have nothing, specifically, to do with HTML, XHTML, and the
DOM.

Specifications are, by and large, as modularized as applications are,
and rightfully so. It's easier to get a specification cleanly finished
when its focused on the technology it's supposed to be focused on.
It's easier to integrate the specification with other specifications,
if it's focused. Just the same as applications are cleaner, and better
when they're based on modularization.

When you open the door to everything under the sun, the spec will
never be finished. More than that, it will always have problems
getting accepted by the wider community.

Microdata doesn't need to be in the spec, and has been demonstrated,
can be cleanly separated out. If it's good, it will survive on its
own. If it isn't, do we seriously want to consider dragging a dead
body along with the rest of HTML for years into the future?

Tab said, oh we can just drop it at some future time, if we decide we
don't want it. How can a group that's been discussing how to support
one _attribute_, summary, for over two years, talk blithely about
dropping an entire section at some future time?

What's another thing we know from application development? It's easier
to add at a later time, then it is to remove.

Regardless, this proposal and counter-proposal is based on one thing
only: whether to remove microdata from the HTML5 specification. This
decision has nothing to do with RDFa, and if the folks behind
Microdata aren't willing to support it when its separated, then yeah,
it will die. But that's not what this proposal and counter-proposal is
about.

There seems to be a second issue coming through: whether to support
Microdata at all. I imagine that would be a separate bug/issue,
wouldn't it chairs?

Again, I'm not trying to quash discussion, but we've been down this
road before. We really need to focus on the specific proposals,
issues, and bugs. Don't you all think?

Shelley
Received on Friday, 4 December 2009 13:55:04 UTC

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