Re: DRAFT3: RDF Web Applications WG Position on RDFa/Microdata Task Force

+1 LGTM.

On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 01:19, Gregg Kellogg <> wrote:
> +1, looks good to me.
> Gregg
> On Jul 10, 2011, at 10:33 AM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>> Please review and send explicit change suggestions before midnight on
>> Friday. If we need to revise, we will do so by Sunday (midnight). The
>> final version will go out to the TAG on this coming Sunday.
>> Gregg: Struck "What is the range of data.." statement.
>> Tom: Reworded the last paragraph a bit to make it more clear that
>> technical issues/bugs need to be filed.
>> This is an e-mail response from the RDF Web Applications Working Group
>> to the Technical Architecture Group at the W3C regarding a recent
>> concern[1] that was brought to our attention.
>> We have already submitted a list of people[2] that we believe should be
>> a part of the RDFa/Microdata Task Force. Additionally, we have had a
>> discussion[3] in the group about the intended purpose and goals of the
>> Task Force.
>> In general, the group believes that a unified approach to structured
>> data on the Web will reduce confusion in the marketplace and thus
>> accelerate the growth of Linked Data and the Semantic Web. The group
>> also thinks that the effort will be fruitless without broad
>> participation and implementation of the Task Force's findings.
>> The rest of this e-mail covers the concerns that the RDF Web
>> Applications Working Group has regarding the new Task Force and attempts
>> to provide guidance for addressing each concern.
>> CONCERN: Multiple specifications for the same task
>> During the TAG discussion, Larry Masinter produced a question that is at
>> the heart of the issue. "Does anyone want there to be more than one
>> structured data syntax published by W3C that accomplishes the same task?"
>> In hindsight, it was a mistake for the HTML WG to allow the publication
>> of two specifications that accomplish effectively the same task (from
>> the viewpoint of the public). It is natural that nobody wanted to block
>> the work of others - but since that hard decision was not made, and
>> since some very large companies are attempting to make that decision for
>> their customers, it is creating a great deal of confusion in the
>> marketplace.
>> We recommend that the question that Larry asked is required to be
>> answered by the Task Force.
>> CONCERN: Scope of structured data in HTML not clearly defined
>> What are the goals of the structured data in HTML work? Is it to support
>> the RDF data model? Support some other Microdata-like data model?
>> Support all of the use cases identified? Only support use
>> cases that are "mainstream" for Web developers? Provide a browser API
>> and unified view of structured data on the web? How much complexity
>> should be exposed to a beginner of structured data? If there is to be a
>> unified path forward for structured data on the Web, it is important to
>> understand which use cases we're supporting and which ones we're leaving
>> behind.
>> We recommend that the Task Force identify a clear set of goals and use
>> cases that are to be supported by the structured data in HTML work. The
>> questions above are provided as suggested discussion points.
>> CONCERN: Consensus on "No Change"
>> There is a concern that the group will be provided with very difficult
>> decisions and instead of wanting to make a hard decision, they will
>> resolve to not change anything. This will be viewed as a failure of the
>> group.
>> This issue is an opportunity for the W3C to demonstrate that the
>> organization is capable of finding consensus and driving positive change
>> among a broad constituency.
>> We recommend that a "no change" result should not be an option for the
>> Task Force.
>> CONCERN: Key implementers will choose to not be involved.
>> It is vital that companies that have deployed, or intend to deploy,
>> structured data are active participants in the Task Force. This includes
>> having the right set of people there as well as ensuring that they are
>> committed to the work of the group. The XForms/WebForms and XML/HTML
>> Task Forces largely failed in their mandate due to inactivity by major
>> participants.
>> We recommend that personnel from relevant companies are involved and
>> that those personnel have decision making power to enact change in their
>> organizations related to the Task Force findings.
>> CONCERN: Agreement and then non-action
>> It could be that there is agreement among the Task Force participants to
>> do something, but there is no follow-through. Solid commitments should
>> be made and the Task Force should follow-up to report on progress
>> regarding those commitments. Perhaps the HyperText Coordination Group
>> should play a part in this work.
>> We recommend that the Task Force gather commitments to enact change at
>> the end of the discussion phase and then follow-up and report on
>> progress regarding the commitments.
>> CONCERN: Slow creation of Task Force
>> The HTML WG expects Last Call to end in early August for the HTML+RDFa
>> and HTML+Microdata specs. Similarly, the RDF Web Apps WG was one week
>> away from entering Candidate Recommendation with RDFa 1.1. It is
>> questionable whether or not the Task Force will be able to be formed in
>> the near future. The announcement of this Task Force has effectively
>> placed a hold on work in both Working Groups. There is concern that work
>> that is done over the next 3 (or more) months will be invalidated by the
>> Task Force or by a formal objection by the TAG.
>> The note by the TAG is effecting both Working Group time lines. It is
>> imperative that the Task Force is put together quickly and performs its
>> work in an expedient manner, or is dissolved and another path forward is
>> chosen.
>> It is vital that the TAG and both Domain Leads step forward and take
>> responsibility for the efficient creation and management of this Task
>> Force. That is, it seems that neither the RDF Web Apps WG nor the HTML
>> WG thinks it is their job to create or manage this Task Force. Since the
>> original note came from the TAG, the ball is in your court.
>> We recommend that the creation of the Task Force is made to be a
>> priority of the TAG, Domain Leads, and the Director.
>> CONCERN: TAG Note is not actionable
>> There is concern in the HTML WG and the RDF Web Apps WG that the note
>> provided by the TAG is not actionable[4] without further information
>> from the TAG (formal objection or bug reports) or Task Force (findings
>> turned into bug reports). The result is that the Working Groups must
>> either ignore the TAG note until the Task Force has completed their
>> work, or halt their work until the Task Force has completed their work.
>> We recommend that the TAG submit a formal objection containing technical
>> issues for both specifications, or that the TAG submits a series of bugs
>> for both HTML+RDFa and HTML+Microdata in addition to RDFa Core 1.1 in
>> the RDF Web Apps WG.
>> -- manu
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
>> [4]
>> --
>> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
>> President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
>> blog: PaySwarm Developer Tools and Demo Released

Thomas Steiner, Research Scientist, Google Inc.,

Received on Monday, 11 July 2011 10:10:25 UTC