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Re: A proposal for establishing an RDFa IG

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 22:33:18 -0400
Message-ID: <4A5556EE.7010502@w3.org>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
CC: RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Hi, Manu-

Manu Sporny wrote (on 7/8/09 10:58 AM):
> 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.

Understandably so.  We did take pains to make

> 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.

I would personally support the continuation of RDFa support and 
development, whether that be in a dedicated IG, or as part of another 
Working Group.  The SVG WG has reached out to the RDF/a community in the 
past and corrected our spec accordingly, and would welcome any further 
guidance that is offered from that community.

The SVG WG explicitly added several attributes to SVG Tiny 1.2 to enable 
the use of RDFa or Microformats (we are agnostic as to which one is 
used); we encourage the use of metadata and semantic extensions to SVG 
(including ARIA).  If the metadata community wants to help us refine 
that, or even better, come up with tutorials, tests, and other materials 
that help people to use those features meaningfully, we would appreciate 
the contributions.

It may be that either SVG or RDFa needs to change in order to get the 
best results for the wide variety of use cases, but that's the nature of 
spec development.

> 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.

I'm not much concerned where the work gets done... we could normative 
reference work easily from the HTML WG or wherever the work gets done. 
If this can be done without Team resources (already stretched thin), so 
much the better.

> 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.

If you think it needs to happen in an IG, I would support that and urge 
others to as well, with the proviso that you will need to work directly 
with implementers to make sure all your bases are covered and the end 
result is suitable.

> 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. :)

There's no "versus" there.  I'm working *with* Microsoft to enable them 
to reach the inevitable conclusion that they need to support SVG 
natively, though active encouragement and gentle reminders. :)

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs
Received on Thursday, 9 July 2009 02:33:33 UTC

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