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Re: Use cases not addressed by HTML5 Microdata (was: Re: A proposal for establishing an RDFa IG)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 21:41:34 +0000 (UTC)
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: RDFa Developers <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0907102132130.9397@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 9 Jul 2009, Manu Sporny wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> >>>> Therein lies the problem. We want to work on RDFa and address real 
> >>>> use cases without being dependent on Ian.
> >>> Which use cases does microdata not address?
> >> The problems with microdata have been addressed before by others, I'm 
> >> not going to spend the time going into them yet again.
> > 
> > I'm not aware of any use cases that microdata doesn't handle. There 
> > have been issues raised, but none are use cases that aren't addressed. 
> > Since you claimed the problem was to do with addressing "real use 
> > cases", if there really are some, I would be very grateful if you 
> > could elaborate on what they are.
> Here are a couple of links to remind all of us about prior conversations 
> we've had related to microdata and not addressing certain technical 
> issues as well certain stated use cases.

Sorry, I should have said that I'm not aware of any use cases that RDFa 
handles that microdata doesn't handle. (Obviously, there's lots of stuff 
microdata doesn't handle, like finding world peace or curing cancer.)

> Eduard: "microdata is even more restricted: it leaves out the cases that 
> RDFa leaves out, but it also leaves out some cases that RDFa was able to 
> handle."
> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019749.html

Unfortunately Eduard did not, to my knowledge, list those use cases.

> Kristof: "Being unable to deal with all use cases sometimes is a
> feature."
> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019807.html

I'm not sure I understand the relevance of this. Surely nobody disagrees 
with this statement.

> Ian: "I couldn't find a good solution to this problem."
> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019839.html

RDFa has the same problems microdata has in terms of addressing this 
use case. If you think RDFa addresses this use case adequately, then so 
does microdata; personally, I don't think RDFa does address this use case 
adequately, and I am not aware of a good solution.

> Ian: "Use cases for which I haven't been able to find solutions"
> http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019886.html

RDFa doesn't address any of those any better than microdata either.

> > I [do not] think it's fair to cast the concerns that have been raised 
> > regarding RDFa as dubious, and nor am I aware of any serious effort to 
> > actually fix all the problems
> The concerns had been documented back in May 2009:
> http://rdfa.info/wiki/rdfa-in-html-issues
> and we are working to fix the issues:
> http://rdfa.info/wiki/rdfa-in-html-issues#RDFa_Task_Force_Discussion_Order
> http://rdfa.info/wiki/RDFa_Profiles

That's great!

I am concerned that in general the solutions are doing nothing but making 
RDFa more complex; one of the main issues that I think already harms RDFa 
is its complexity. There is always a balance to be struck between solving 
every problem and being simple enough that people actually use the 
solution widely. Currently, I really feel RDFa is far to the complex side. 
I don't see this as one of the problems listed in the list above. I feel 
simplicity is one of microdata's biggest strengths. (Another is its tight 
integration with features such as the JS drag-and-drop model.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 21:42:09 UTC

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