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A proposal for establishing an RDFa IG

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 10:58:58 -0400
Message-ID: <4A54B432.5080705@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Manu Sporny wrote:
>> We will be developing further RDFa specs - whether it happens inside the
>> W3C or outside the W3C is still up in the air.
> I hope that this work can be done inside of the W3C.  If there is
> anything I can do to help, let me know.

I believe that almost everyone in this community hopes that the work on
RDFa can be done inside of the W3C. The latest XHTML2 announcement has,
unsurprisingly, made those involved in work related to XHTML2 a bit jumpy.

One of the responsibilities of the RDFa Task Force is to ensure the
long-term viability of RDFa. If long-term viability can only be achieved
outside of the W3C, then so be it.

We are far removed from that possibility now, but we were saying the
same thing about XHTML2 several months ago. Life is full of surprises. :)

I have yet to speak with the Task Force about this proposal, but think
that it fits with the consensus at the moment. Here is what you, Chris
Wilson, Mike Smith, Doug Schepers, Dan Connolly, Philippe, TimBL (and
the rest of W3C) can do:

*Publicly* support an RDFa Interest Group (IG) that operates
/independently/ of SVGWG, HTMLWG, and WHATWG. The RDFa IG should advise
each group on the implementation of RDFa in each language, perhaps even
writing (or helping to write) the draft language to be
included/referenced in each spec.

Since RDFa can be applied to a variety of languages, the work undertaken
by the IG does not wholly belong in the HTML WG, the WHAT WG, nor was it
going to belong to XHTML2 for much longer. Since the majority of the
work is already done, it also does not need the W3C resources associated
with a full WG.

If RDFa is going to continue to flourish, the technical work should be
insulated to a large degree from the political flotsam and jetsam left
in the wake of W3C, XHTML2, HTML5, and WHATWG. Every day spent
attempting to figure out how to navigate the W3C Policy waters, lately -
an increasing part of this Task Force's time, is time lost on RDFa.

So, if you would like to help - help us ensure that there is an RDFa IG
that operates independently of each one of these contentious groups.
State it publicly, and push the rest of W3C management that may be
sitting on the fence to make it happen... and make it happen publicly.

> Ben Adida wrote:
>> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> What is currently in the HTML 5 draft has not yet been found to enjoy
>> consensus.  I encourage people to work with the editor to get changes
>> that they feel necessary made to this draft.
> To date, Ian's approach has been far from that of an impartial editor
> with whom such differences can be worked out. Manu tried, really hard,
> for a long time, at which point Ian dreamed up microdata. Let's stop
> pretending that this is a viable path.

To clarify my personal intentions, I will continue to push on WHATWG for
HTML5+RDFa. I started doing it because there was hope in convincing
WHATWG to adopt RDFa in a slightly modified form. That hope has been all
but extinguished over the past 7 months. Now I find myself doing it
because I'm a standards masochist. It's the Doug Schepers vs. Microsoft
 (include native SVG in IE, dammit!) school of thought (and suffering).
I'm starting to enjoy the repeated rejection. :)

-- manu

Manu Sporny
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Bitmunk 3.1 Released - Browser-based P2P Commerce
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 14:59:36 UTC

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