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Re: Microdata

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 00:02:22 +0400
To: "Andreas Kuckartz" <A.Kuckartz@ping.de>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.wxee98mmy3oazb@dhcp-216-147-wifi.yandex.net>
Hi Andreas,

On Mon, 20 May 2013 16:03:34 +0400, Andreas Kuckartz <A.Kuckartz@ping.de>  

> "Microdata" should never have been developed in the first place.

That could be correct. However it was, and like atomic fission we now live  
in a world where it is a reality.

> Anyway: The inventor and former main proponent of "microdata" seems to
> be no longer active here and nobody else here seems to be very
> interested in continuing any work on it.

Yandex is interested in continuing work on it to get it finished. I  
believe we are not alone.

> Keeping it in HTML5 therefore would be the *worst* solution.

No, the worst solution would be not to work on it and keep it in limbo as  
an alleged potential part of HTML 5.1, until we have this discussion again  
in two years and decide to move it to HTML 5.2 ...

> That schema.org promotes "Microdata" is something which should be
> addressed by those in charge of schema.org.


Russia is perhaps the market where microdata is most popular, largely due  
to Yandex (one of the top search engines in the world, clearly leader in  
Russia, member of the HTML Working Group). But other leading members of  
schema.org such as Google and Microsoft are also processing a lot of it.

With this level of usage, it seems prudent to finish the process of  
describing how it works. Large stakeholders are successfully recommending  
it to smaller stakeholders, who are using it. So it is a common technology  
and a high-quality standard for it would probably improve interoperability  
of the Web. Like the h1-h6 elements this isn't a reflection on whether it  
is the best tool for the task, just the fact that it is one of the ones  
many people are using successfully.

> Strangely they link to the
> "HTML Microdata Working Draft from 24 May 2011:
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/md-LC/
> and not to the newer one from 25 October 2012:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/microdata/

Noted. I'll poke schema.org guys about that.

> I just notived that a *very* recent Editor's Draft of that document is
> also available (20 May 2013):
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/microdata/master/
> So my guess is that Ian is working on that document so that it can be
> published as a Note at some point.

No, I believe you are correct that Ian no longer works in the HTML working  
group. I believe the HTML editors work on the spec - although I could well  
be wrong.



> Cheers,
> Andreas
> ---
> Charles McCathie Nevile:
>> Hi,
>> Microdata is included in the HTML spec, and RDFa Lite (which does the
>> same thing) isn't.
>> There is a proposal to remove it from HTML5 and delay it to HTML 5.1.
>> This seems a very bad idea, and we object.
>> Microdata is the format most heavily promoted by schema.org, and has
>> wide implementation. We count it on a significant proportion of sites in
>> Russia. We find it far more often than RDFa - presumably because it is
>> implemented and promoted by both Yandex (the number one search engine in
>> Russia) and Google (the global number one), and therefore considered
>> important by developers.
>> It has been mentioned that there will not be sufficient browser support
>> to pass CR. We believe this argument to be flawed because browser
>> support for microdata is irrelevant. Browsers are not to the primary
>> target of microdata and were not relevant to the broad uptake it has
>> already seen. Implementation and interoperability should be measured on
>> usage such as schema.org, which has built up a significant set of
>> resources, with processors implemented independently by multiple
>> competing search providers and content produced by a significant
>> proportion of Web Developers.
>> We are sympathetic to the argument that taking microdata out of HTML5
>> improves modularity and is therefore good, and to the argument that
>> removing microdata puts it on a more logical level footing with RDFa
>> Lite in public perception, reducing the risk of suggesting one is better
>> than the other for use with HTML, instead of leaving it to the market to
>> determine. Although these are fundamentally political, rather than pure
>> technical arguments, they are not incorrect.
>> Unfortunately we are currently unable to provide significant editing
>> resources of the calibre and experience with the HTML specification that
>> is already available to the HTML Working group. If those editors are
>> really unable to extract the spec and progress it to Recommendation, we
>> believe that the next-best option is to keep it in HTML5.
>> cheers
>> Chaals

Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
       chaals@yandex-team.ru         Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Monday, 20 May 2013 20:02:58 UTC

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