W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2009

Understanding why RDFa is useful

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2009 17:12:58 +1100
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.um38vwftwxe0ny@widsithpro.lan>


Ian has started a thread on the WHATWG list (but not here for some reason)  
poointing out that he doesn't understand what RDFa does, and asking a few  
questions to help him understand why it should be included in HTML.

I think it would be helpful for people who are on this list, but don't  
happen to follow WHATWG, to provide use cases. In particular, identifying  
things that RDFa does which µformats don't, (such as provide a unified  
parsing method for arbitrary data that enables it to be combined without a  
priori knowledge of the model behind the vocabulary) and explaining what  
use cases that serves which would not be met by existing mechanisms, is  
probably the clearest way to determine the benefits RDFa could offer.

Likewise, it seems that very few people have identified an actual  
disadvantage, although Ian asked about opportunity costs and so on. It was  
pointed out in a message that having specialised parsing mechanisms for  
each µformat allows for optimisation for each format, although my personal  
feeling is that this benefit is far outweighed by RDFa allowing you to use  
one off-the-shelf parser for everything, and if you optimise to do it  
further into the treatment of a particular vocabulary.

Anyway, welcome to 2009.



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 2 January 2009 06:13:41 UTC

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