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Ongoing objection to RDFa Profiles format (as XHTML+RDFa)

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 06:44:41 -0400
Message-ID: <4C876919.10505@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>
I am going to attempt to summarize an issue that Mark raised over the
weekend re: RDFa Profile documents. He intends to raise this as a Last
Call issue - so this is mostly a heads-up that we're going to be
revisiting this issue before going into LC. I may not capture everything
that we discussed, so Mark will have to correct/elaborate as necessary.

He has one primary objection:

The RDFa Profile format is expressed in RDF - and that is not good
design. See the 4 points below for an explanation of why.

The new information that he has provided is:

Per the spec at this moment in time, we're using XHTML+RDFa as the
normative RDFa Profile document format. This means that an SVG+RDFa
parser that builds on top of RDFa Core is also going to have to be an
XHTML+RDFa parser in order to process the RDFa Profile documents.

#1) We have a software architecture where the foundations depend on the
    finished product.
#2) It's not good RDF...it's a pattern that no-one else uses.
#3) To implement it properly you need to be able to query the triple
    store.
#4) We now have to maintain a vocabulary. We have all these terms
    flying around, have to devise a namespace for them, and so on.

#1 means that we require an XHTML+RDFa parser in order to parse
XHTML+RDFa. Mark is asserting that this is bad design and we should use
a dead-simple format for the RDFa Profile document (perhaps a key-value
text file - easily parsed by any language, no heavy RDFa requirement).

#2 means that no other RDF language refers to an external RDF document
to modify processing rules. Mark asserts that the external document
SHOULD NOT be RDF.

#3 means that the design is more complicated than necessary - requiring
an RDFa Processor to not only generate triples, but also understand the
triples that it generates. This is a change from RDFa 1.0, where an RDFa
Processor only had to generate triples.

#4 means that vocabulary management is a difficult task. Mark asserted
that he would rather that we not deal with vocabulary management as it
often time consuming and difficult to get vocabularies right.

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: WebID - Universal Login for the Web
http://blog.digitalbazaar.com/2010/08/07/webid/2/
Received on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 10:45:11 UTC

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