W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2012

Re: CfC: Request transition of HTML Microdata to Candidate Recommendation

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:07:53 +0400
To: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Cc: "Manu Sporny" <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, "Marcos Caceres" <w3c@marcosc.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Message-ID: <op.wodibfnpy3oazb@chaals.local>
On Mon, 26 Nov 2012 00:57:03 +0400, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:

> Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
>> On Sun, 25 Nov 2012 23:25:38 +0400, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
>>> Charles McCathie Nevile wrote:
>>>> On Sun, 25 Nov 2012 22:15:26 +0400, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>  
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> The fact that RDFa already does what Microdata does has
>>>>>> been elaborated upon before:
>>>>  Yes. For what it is worth, I personally think RDFa is generally a  
>>>> technically better solution. But as Marcos says, "so what"? Our job  
>>>> at W3C is to make standards for the technology the market decides to  
>>>> use.
>>> Standards, plural? not a standard way to do things, singular?
>>  If the market wants more than one way, that's what we should be  
>> offering. I think we all agree that it is *better* to have an agreed  
>> single way. Of *course* we all agree that it is better to have the  
>> technologically best specification as the standard.
> I'd be interested to see the data / info that says the market wants more  
> than one offering here.
> Do you, does yandex?

We supported making it a Candidate Recommendation. That means we think it  
is worth stabilising, to decide if it should become a Recommendation. We  
believe that schema.org presents a reasonable use case - multiple very  
large search engines, massive numbers of pages, currently using microdata.

On figures I have seen from Bing, RDFa and Microdata are both "widely  
used" (along with microformats) with RDFa more common in their index,  
while in Russia we find more microdata.

This suggests that right now there is a market which wants both. Note that  
schema.org (where we participate) now supports the use of RDFa as well as  
microdata - see  

The market may well lean toward one or the other solution in the future.  
In the meantime, we see no reason not to work on making microdata a  
first-class specification. If it is still appropriate when the question  
arises, we would support microdata becoming a W3C Recommendation but right  
now it is too early to tell.

>> ... It took some years to get constructive dialogue on why people want  
>> one, the other, or both, and how they best fit together in the world.  
>> The sort of constructive dialogue that is the special product of W3C,  
>> which I think is unparalleled in its ability to provide this value to  
>> the Web.
> I agree, however the only real discussion I've seen around Microdata and  
> RDFa is the discussion which led up to the TAG guidance:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-comments/2011Jun/0038.html
> On the back of that I was aware of it being taken seriously by some  
> parties, and RDFa Lite being put forward. I'm unaware of any such effort  
> or dialogue around Microdata though.
> I would love a pointer to this dialogue, anything which says "why I can  
> use Microdata but I can't use RDFa (Lite)", any conversation, anything  
> which suggests that it's a good idea to publish Microdata as a REC - in  
> addition to RDFa (Lite) - other than it simply existing.

In addition to it simply existing, it is being used by many people, and in  
software. I don't have pointers to the conversations that each implementor  
had, but I presume that many of the decisions were taken by rational  
people on the basis of thinking about their needs and goals.

This conversation is one more such discussion, at a more abstract level.

Note that I am not claiming that people *cannot* use RDFa Lite - but that  
they choose to use microdata in addition. This is what "voluntary  
adoption", "success determined by the market" looks like in practice.



Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 26 November 2012 09:08:27 UTC

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