Re: Request to publish HTML+RDFa (draft 3) as FPWD

Hi Henri,

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 12:17 PM, Henri Sivonen <> wrote:
> On Sep 22, 2009, at 12:38, Mark Birbeck wrote:
>> Design principles are hardly "principles" if they can be changed on a
>> whim. What you are now saying is 'pave the cowpaths that lots of cows
>> in the grand scheme of things have been using'.
>> But the cowpath metaphor is supposed to invoke the idea of something
>> that people are already doing. There can be little ambiguity there --
>> people are either already doing something, or they aren't. You either
>> have a cowpath or you don't -- not one that suits your goals.
> A few cows don't yet make a path. In any case, as Leif pointed out, the
> design principle says "consider adopting". RDFa was considered and rejected
> due to design problems.
>> The BBC is publishing RDFa in the form of program reviews.

You missed one.

Nothing to say on this?

>> UK government websites are publishing job vacancies and consultations with
>> RDFa.
> Who consumes this data? (My point being: If a cow falls in the forest but no
> one is there to observe it, does it make a path?)

Unless it flew there...yes, it does make a path.

But seriously...

...oh, why bother.

If the UK government publishing a ton of metadata in the form of RDFa
still only puts us at roughly the same level of adoption as Microdata
I think we've reached the end of rational debate.

>> Google is recommending the use of RDFa to add license information to
>> images and videos.
> I think this should be considered in the context of
> Paving this path seems to call for a processing model that ignores prefixes.

There is a lot of work being done to allow another layer on top of XML
namespaces, which would enable these kinds of abbreviations.

That's certainly something we can build on top of RDFa, now that we
have a firm foundation in place.

>> Drupal 7 includes RDFa support.
> What does that mean? Does Drupal output RDFa? If so, who consumes it? Does
> it ingest RDFa? If so, from where?

Who cares?

Do you know how big the Drupal community is?

Seriously,'s getting a little embarrassing watching this
WHATWG squirming.

I'm not saying you don't have useful points to make, but when placed
in this context of continually moving goalposts, where no-one is
really quite sure what it is that you are objecting to any more, it's
becoming farcical.

If you or Ian had proposed that RDFa should support URIs in all
attributes, you'd have been on common ground with many in the RDFa

If you or Ian had proposed that RDFa also support reverse DNS
identifiers, you might have found less support...but hey, let's talk
about it.

But that didn't happen.

Instead we get a brand new proposal hashed together over a weekend,
and a whole bunch of politics.

It's very difficult to take that seriously.



Mark Birbeck, webBackplane

webBackplane is a trading name of Backplane Ltd. (company number
05972288, registered office: 2nd Floor, 69/85 Tabernacle Street,
London, EC2A 4RR)

Received on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 14:37:52 UTC