Re: HTML WG: ISSUE-120 Use of prefixes is too complicated for a Web technology

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 8:12 PM, Manu Sporny <> wrote:
>> On 09/16/2010 06:47 AM, Nathan wrote:
>>> Is the HTML editor open to having first class support for
>>> prefixes/CURIEs in HTML, such as the introduction of a new metadata
>>> element "prefix" with the attributes @name and @href (or "curie" with
>>> the attributes @prefix and @href)?
>> I do not believe that Ian is open to that particular mechanism. Ian is
>> asserting that the use of prefix:reference mapping (aka: CURIEs) in
>> HTML+RDFa is too complicated for most authors and that they will get it
>> wrong.

I just wanted to quickly hook back up on this and generally note that 
the currently (appears favoured) proposal [1] for addressing 
decentralized extensibility in html(5) is currently quite reliant on 
RDFa, and one of the use-cases addressed references this mail [2] from 
Maciej Stachowiak, and indeed quotes directly the following:

   "it's good to allow other standards to define new HTML elements and 

and with relation to this particular thread and RDFa in general, I guess 
I'd be drawing attention to the 'define new HTML elements' in addition 
to attributes, without saying too much more.




>> We have attempted to mitigate Ian's various concerns by introducing
>> three new concepts in RDFa 1.1 - allowing full URIs everywhere, RDFa
>> Profiles and the @prefix attribute. He is fine with allowing full URIs
>> everywhere. I'm pretty sure that he does not like the @prefix solution
>> as a replacement for @xmlns and would claim that the "solution" misses
>> the point. I'm also pretty sure that he is against having an indirection
>> mechanism where strings map to other strings declared earlier in the
>> document (the whole concept of CURIEs).
>>> i.e. is the HTML editor looking to introduce well defined and easily
>>> maintainable prefix/curie support in to HTML?
>> No, he is not.
>>> or conversely, is the HTML
>>> editor looking to relegate @prefix on the grounds that it's too
>>> complicated and difficult to maintain moving forwards, without proposing
>>> or seconding an alternative solution?
>> Ian is suggesting that any CURIE-like mechanism should be removed from
>> the HTML+RDFa specification. The alternative solution, as I understand
>> it, is to use full URIs everywhere, or pre-define tokens that should be
>> used when describing particular semantic objects... basically, what
>> Microdata does. He has also stated that he is open to other mechanisms
>> that accomplish our goals that have yet to be discovered.
>>> as an aside, if @prefix is defined by a specification which extends
>>> HTML, then does it fall under the HTML editors remit to maintain @prefix?
>> Strictly speaking, no it does not. Ian will most likely treat @prefix in
>> the same way that he has treated the HTML+RDFa spec, as something built
>> on top of HTML5.
> I think you pretty accurately portray my opinion. All I would add is
> that my opinion here isn't important; what matters is what we can get
> browsers to implement. As far as that goes, I believe that what you
> describe above as my opinion also describes what browser vendors would
> be willing to implement (possibly with the exception of the IE team
> who have implemented prefix-like features in the past; I don't know
> what their position is on adding this to new features). IMHO there's
> not really much point discussing features that browser vendors aren't
> willing to implement.

Received on Friday, 8 October 2010 11:14:45 UTC