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Re: RDFa in HTML 4

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 11:58:14 -0400
Cc: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-Id: <41266C09-F244-4B75-9B48-8AA2BCAB64A6@w3.org>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>

Hi Manu, Karl,

On 18-Jul-08, at 3:08 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:
> About http://www.w3.org/mid/487F80F6.5080309@digitalbazaar.com
> Le 18 juil. 2008 à 02:27, Manu Sporny a écrit :
>> We are a bit helpless to do anything about the W3C Validator since  
>> it's
>> not in our charter to specify RDFa for HTML4 and expanding our  
>> charter
>> is off the table (due to the way things work at the W3C - which  
>> most of
>> us agree, is the way things should work).
> Note that olivier and others have discussed for a long time on how  
> improving the validation paradigm. We are eager to find solutions  
> and *more*, coders to help developing it.

Do I sense the presence of a chicken-egg issue? The HTML4 spec was not  
made to allow RDFa, and so its authoritative schemas don't either.

Could the HTML4 spec be amended to allow the usage of RDFa?  
Technically yes, although it would be a bit of a mess, with the  
existing efforts on HTML5 and XHTMLx.x. If HTML4.01 gets back into the  
REC track, web developers may be even more confused than they are  

Could the markup validator (or any DTD based tool) accept the usage of  
RDFa in HTML4? Technically yes - just change the DTD in its catalog -  
although it would make the validator seriously inconsistent with the  
spec it is supposed to be checking. Also, it would only work for  
documents referring to HTML 4.01 with a Formal Public Identifier  
(PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN") but not if SYSTEM "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd 
" is used - because of course the official HTML4.01 DTDs won't have  

Tough decision, but I think, if we get a public record of a w3c  
decision on the matter (e.g the XHTML WG, or the HTML WG saying "sure,  
RDFa in HTML4, why not?") then we could get the HTML4 DTD _used in the  
validator_ amended. There *will* be some grumbling if the validator is  
changing its understanding of HTML4 based on a WG decision and not a  
whole REC publication process, but I think it's defendable.

Then once it's validable, as you said in your message Manu, it will be  
easier to encourage developers to start using the syntax.

What do others think?

Received on Friday, 18 July 2008 15:58:49 UTC

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