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PROPOSAL to close ISSUE-43: DataParser hasFeature() method

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 23:13:35 -0500
Message-ID: <4D1FFB6F.5020308@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>
If there are no objections to this proposal in 7 days, we will close
ISSUE-43: DataParser hasFeature() method.


During discussion concerning the RDF API and RDFa API, the issue of
whether or not a hasFeature() mechanism was needed on the DataParser
interface came up several times. Developers may find this feature useful
if they wanted to figure out if a particular environment supported the
parsing of different, RDF-compatible, metadata formats. Developers may
also find it useful if they have a collection of parsers and need to
understand if a particular parser in the collection supports the
processing of a particular data format. For example, parsing the hCard
microformat may be a feature that an RDFa-compatible parser would
support. How can a developer tell if a parser is capable of parsing a
particular data format that they are interested in parsing?

During the month of December 2010, it became apparent that developers
typically know the capabilities of the parsers that they are using and
that this feature may not be as useful as previously thought. When a
developer creates a parser, they would do something like this:

var p = mylibrary.createParser(...);

That is, they know the type of parser that they're creating and can
decorate it after creation if they really need to do so:

p.parserType = "hcard";

However, they probably wouldn't need to do the line of code above as
they'd just create the parser they needed, use it and then discard it.

The RDF API is meant to provide a basic set of interfaces that
developers can build on top of by using their own JavaScript libraries.
The RDF API is not meant to provide a complete stack of many different
types of parsers. The RDFa WG expects that libraries that support
parsing RDF/XML, RDFa, Microdata, eRDF, or other metadata formats would
provide parsers that are compatible with the DataParser interface. How
these parsers are created and managed is outside of the scope of the RDF

Therefore, the proposal is to not add a hasFeature() method to the
DataParser interface since developers typically know the capabilities of
the parsers available to them and because the RDF API is conceptually at
a lower-level, providing an interface for RDF-aware parsers rather than
complete implementation details for an RDF-aware parser.

Please comment in 7 days from this post if you object to this proposal.
If there are no objections within 7 days, ISSUE-43 will be closed.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Linked Data in JSON
Received on Sunday, 2 January 2011 04:14:05 UTC

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