W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdfa@w3.org > February 2009

Re: RDFa and Web Directions North 2009

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 11:06:58 -0500
Message-ID: <49959AA2.5080406@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Michael Bolger <michael@michaelbolger.net>
CC: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, public-rdfa@w3.org, RDFa mailing list <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>

On 13/2/09 11:15, Michael Bolger wrote:
> Friends of XHTML, are seeing a train wreck, the same "old" W3C
> "hero-worshiped" "leadership" does nothing of any substance to join
> the battle. HTML 5 has won by default.

Michael, this is not necessarily addressed to you, it's addressed to
people that feel that there is some sort of grand conflict between
groups on the Web concerning standards.

It is a mistake to draw imaginary lines between these groups and call
this a "battle" or a "war" where one side "wins" or "loses". Human
nature causes us to prefer grouping ourselves with like-minded folks and
referring our group as "us", always working against the other group we
call "them". We have discovered throughout history that human nature can
easily lead us down the wrong path. This discussion is no exception.

Some are attempting to create an "us" vs."them" war with Microformats
and RDFa, others with XHTML2 and HTML5. As Dan mentioned in his e-mail,
when one refers to these discussions as conflicts, they do more to harm
the Web than help it.

There is a great degree of cross-pollination that happens between
Microformats and RDFa, XHTML and HTML5. The ones that are involved in
creating these standards are involved in all of the groups to some
degree. Each standard builds on the tome of work produced by the W3C and
other standards bodies.

More importantly, if you've ever had the pleasure to meet some of these
people - you will note that they are all very friendly, interesting,
non-violent people who will listen to a logical argument backed by good
data. The discussions can be heated exchanges between teachers,
scientists and researchers - not soldiers.

If you ever see the need to refer to these arguments as a "conflict",
please take a deep breath and realize that things are not as they may
seem. We are all most likely sitting comfortably at a desk or in a
couch, well fed, tapping away on our keyboards in a environmentally
controlled building or home.

If we screw these standards up, nobody is going to die and the Web will
continue to survive and grow. All of us are doing our best to move the
web forward - it is the common thread that binds us all together. We
fundamentally believe in the power of the Web and its ability to
positively contribute to the human condition. We should focus on that to
help us move forward.

So - if you ever feel the need to describe the interaction of the
Microformats, RDFa, XHTML or HTML5 communities as a conflict or war -
sit back, take a deep breath, and realize that you're a geek that
believes in the power of the Web. When you post to these lists, we are
all in this adventure together and each of us are passionate about the
future of Internet. While our methods may differ, we all want to make
the Web better and help it grow.

More importantly, if you see anybody else attempt to create a conflict
between the communities - point their behavior out to them. While
intellectual argument is healthy, conflict is not... do your part to
prevent or resolve conflict and help move the Web forward.

-- manu

Manu Sporny
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
Scaling Web Services past 100,000 Simultaneous Connections
Received on Friday, 13 February 2009 16:07:46 UTC

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