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Re: RDFa Last Call Comment: Better name than 'instanceof' is needed

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 09:08:03 -0700
To: Ben Adida <ben@adida.net>
Cc: Micah Dubinko <mdubinko@yahoo-inc.com>, public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF128E4693.92F17DD4-ON88257410.0057A2FD-88257410.0058A141@ca.ibm.com>
Hi Ben,

But could you explain why the spelling "instanceof" is mandatory?

In my last call comment, I omitted mentioning which of a number of other 
spellings might be more desirable.  But other than a spurious colon (i.e. 
namespacing), I think I am on the same page as Micah, though, which is 
that I can't understand why it isn't called 'rdftype'.  This not only gets 
rid of the obvious name obfuscation mentioned in my LC comment, but it 
also avoids using something too generic (i.e. we know which 'type' is 
being referenced).  In fact, one could even go so far as to dovetail on 
the current tendency to use dashes in place of colons, e.g. rdf-type.

The following seems to eliminate the problems yet still otherwise work 
just as well as when instanceof is used:

   <div rdf-type="cal:Vevent">
      <span property="cal:dtstart"> ... </span>

I didn't want to prescribe a name, but for what it's worth the seeming 
singularity of the attribute name presents no problems for providing a 
list of types to aggregate, certainly none that are not also present when 
the attribute is spelled "instanceof".

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Staff Member
Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
Blog RSS feed: 

Ben Adida <ben@adida.net> 
03/17/2008 09:23 PM

Micah Dubinko <mdubinko@yahoo-inc.com>
John Boyer/CanWest/IBM@IBMCA, public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
Re: RDFa Last Call Comment: Better name than 'instanceof' is needed

Micah Dubinko wrote:
> If the instanceof attribute were completely removed from RDFa, would any 

> use cases be forclosed?

Yes, the original use case for chaining: e.g. adding an author to a 
paper without having to manually give it a blank node name or repeating 
a predicate.

There are generally a number of cases where the markup is much more 
pleasant and readable with @instanceof.

> In discussions about RDFa with non-RDF-familiar people, instanceof has 
> been harder for them to grasp.

That's interesting, although surprising and different from what I've 
seen, where folks want to "add a type" quickly, e.g. a calendar event, a 
business card, etc...

   <div instanceof="cal:Vevent">
      <span property="cal:dtstart"> ... </span>

If you had to give the event some random identifier, I believe that 
would be worse and error-prone.

Received on Tuesday, 18 March 2008 16:08:55 UTC

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