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PROPOSAL to close ISSUE-46: conversion of plain literals to IRIs

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 20:27:54 -0400
Message-ID: <4CBCE60A.9030108@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>
If there are no objections to this proposal by this Thursday, October
21st at 13:00 UTC, we will close ISSUE-46: conversion of plain literals
to IRIs.


The Working Group has discussed the issue during several calls and the
consensus seems to be to not support the automatic conversion of plain
literals to IRIs.

While it was argued that Facebook expresses URLs as plain literals with
its Open Graph Protocol and that other companies may want to provide
methods to add this data into the HEAD element of an HTML document using
plain literals, there were ambiguity issues (such as how to detect an
IRI) as well as added complexity to include this feature in the

The Working Group discussed extending this behavior to plain literals in
an attempt to generalize the mechanism and felt that it would be
difficult for people to express URI-like strings in a way that was
simple for HTML authors. These changes would also create backwards
compatibility concerns that are not covered in the RDFa WG charter. We
also discussed constraining the automatic conversion to the META
element, but felt that it was far too much of a kludge to perform
special processing for only the META element.

In the end, the group could not find consensus on how to achieve this
automatic conversion in a generalized fashion that didn't create
ambiguity. There was more support for not providing this feature than
there was in support of the feature. Even if the RDFa WG could find
consensus, the feature would be placed into the specification in order
to meet the needs of a specific application of RDFa (OGP), and not the
RDFa community as a whole. The existence of OGP proves that companies
may use and deploy this mechanism without negatively impacting their
systems as it can be argued that how one interprets triples is up to the
application layer. An OGP consumer is capable of understanding which
properties are URLs and which ones are plain literals - case in point,

This proposal asserts that no change should be made for the reasons
listed above and that the issue should be closed.

Please comment before Thursday, October 21st at 13:00 UTC if you object
to this proposal. If there are no objections by that time, this issue
will be closed. If there are objections, the RDFa Working Group will
perform a straw-poll and decide whether or not to close the issue before
entering Last Call.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Saving Journalism - The PaySwarm Developer API
Received on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 00:28:24 UTC

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