Re: HTML WG: ISSUE-120 Use of prefixes is too complicated for a Web technology

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 8:12 PM, Manu Sporny <> wrote:
> On 09/16/2010 06:47 AM, Nathan wrote:
>> Is the HTML editor open to having first class support for
>> prefixes/CURIEs in HTML, such as the introduction of a new metadata
>> element "prefix" with the attributes @name and @href (or "curie" with
>> the attributes @prefix and @href)?
> I do not believe that Ian is open to that particular mechanism. Ian is
> asserting that the use of prefix:reference mapping (aka: CURIEs) in
> HTML+RDFa is too complicated for most authors and that they will get it
> wrong.
> We have attempted to mitigate Ian's various concerns by introducing
> three new concepts in RDFa 1.1 - allowing full URIs everywhere, RDFa
> Profiles and the @prefix attribute. He is fine with allowing full URIs
> everywhere. I'm pretty sure that he does not like the @prefix solution
> as a replacement for @xmlns and would claim that the "solution" misses
> the point. I'm also pretty sure that he is against having an indirection
> mechanism where strings map to other strings declared earlier in the
> document (the whole concept of CURIEs).
>> i.e. is the HTML editor looking to introduce well defined and easily
>> maintainable prefix/curie support in to HTML?
> No, he is not.
>> or conversely, is the HTML
>> editor looking to relegate @prefix on the grounds that it's too
>> complicated and difficult to maintain moving forwards, without proposing
>> or seconding an alternative solution?
> Ian is suggesting that any CURIE-like mechanism should be removed from
> the HTML+RDFa specification. The alternative solution, as I understand
> it, is to use full URIs everywhere, or pre-define tokens that should be
> used when describing particular semantic objects... basically, what
> Microdata does. He has also stated that he is open to other mechanisms
> that accomplish our goals that have yet to be discovered.
>> as an aside, if @prefix is defined by a specification which extends
>> HTML, then does it fall under the HTML editors remit to maintain @prefix?
> Strictly speaking, no it does not. Ian will most likely treat @prefix in
> the same way that he has treated the HTML+RDFa spec, as something built
> on top of HTML5.

I think you pretty accurately portray my opinion. All I would add is
that my opinion here isn't important; what matters is what we can get
browsers to implement. As far as that goes, I believe that what you
describe above as my opinion also describes what browser vendors would
be willing to implement (possibly with the exception of the IE team
who have implemented prefix-like features in the past; I don't know
what their position is on adding this to new features). IMHO there's
not really much point discussing features that browser vendors aren't
willing to implement.

Ian Hickson

Received on Thursday, 23 September 2010 20:05:07 UTC