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

Re: RDFa in HTML 5

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 00:31:21 -0400
Message-ID: <4A177C19.3070700@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk>
CC: RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Philip Taylor wrote:
> As an attempt to clarify my current views

Hi Philip, thanks for the set of clarifications and for your RDFa in
HTML5 document. What follows is a general list of comments on your
document. They are not complete, just notes on the approach that you
have taken. I do realize that you didn't intend the proposal to be
complete, but it does raise some issues that are concerning:

* If my read on Sam, Shelley, Philip, the RDFa TF and the RDFa community
is correct - all of us want a version of RDFa spec'ed for HTML.

* All of us want RDFa spec'ed for HTML4, in some form.

* Some of us (in the RDFa TF, WHATWG, HTMLWG and RDFa community) want it
spec'ed for HTML5 - others feel that Ian has already made up his mind
about excluding RDFa (otherwise he would not have gone to the trouble to
create the microdata proposal).

* We want this to be a transparent, inclusive process that involves
anybody that wants to be involved in the creation of an RDFa in HTML spec.

* Philip may or may not be willing to work on the HTML5+RDFa spec - his
level of interest in moving forward with this is hard to read. There has
been no commitment from him to complete a full HTML5+RDFa spec.

* Shelley seems to be interested in working on the HTML5+RDFa spec, but
only in a supporting role. I'm interested in working on any version of
an RDFa spec in HTML. Shane has produced a good first draft for RDFa in

* There are concerns that if we go too crazy in these supplemental
documents with re-defining things that don't need to be redefined, we
will accidentally fragment RDFa. If we push this stuff out too soon,
before it is ready, we could create fragmentation.

* Philip's document starts this fragmentation process by re-defining
CURIEs and the RDFa processing rules - which many agree is a very bad
thing, even though we like the concept of a HTML5+RDFa document.

* There should be one set of processing rules for all HTML family
languages, if possible.

* There is minor concern that somebody will snatch the core of the RDFa
document, put "RDFa for XYZ", wipe all of contributors names as well as
the W3C's name from it and publish it as something new. Philip did some
of this (probably by accident), but it sets a very bad precedent and
opens the door for numerous "RDFa in XYZ" documents with conflicting
processing rules. If this is done, it will certainly harm adoption,
parsing simplicity, and may create a situation where RDFa markup becomes
ambiguous (which is one of the RDFa community's worst-case scenarios).

This is meant to be high-level, constructive feedback and is not meant
to deter Philip, or anybody else, from proposing a way forward. I think
it's great, and there are a others that agree with me, that he's helping
to move this boulder forward by putting something together. We really
want to work with a broad set of communities to get RDFa adopted into
more markup languages.

These concerns above are ones that I hope that others will take into
account when working toward RDFa solutions.

If we are to focus on a set of concepts moving forward, it should be
that we will take the time to carefully draft a set of documents that
ensure backward-compatibility, and no fragmentation of the standard
while providing RDFa markup for all HTML family languages.

-- manu

Manu Sporny
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: A Collaborative Distribution Model for Music
Received on Saturday, 23 May 2009 04:32:01 UTC

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