Proposal: accept Comment item type for CreativeWork/comment

Hello everyone,

Delving into the nitty gritty of, I've come to be frustrated by
where the UserComments vs. Comment problem ended up, as there still seems
to be confusion about this and no good examples published anywhere on
proper usage.

After all I've read about this issue, I have one proposal that may solve a
few problems: the comment property of CreativeWork should not only accept
the UserComments item type, but also the relatively new Comment item type.

Use case: comments on comments.

There currently is no way to mark up a comment on a comment, something
which is quite common in the Web realm. CreativeWork/comment expects a
UserComments item, which does not have its own comment property, thus
breaking the chain.

(Yes, this may bleed into the parallel discussion I've seen about a new
Discussion item type.)

It's been written that Comment/about could be used to reference which item
it's commenting on, yet this gets messy when UserComments is a description
of a user interaction event. This would also cause an unintuitive chain of
CreativeWork/comment -> UserComments <- Comment/about...

Adding the Comment item type to CreativeWork/comment allows two separate,
semantically meaningful ways to mark up comments:

1. Activity feed style, with UserComments, where the focus is on the event
of having commented, rather than the actual content of the comments (think
of an activity feed attached to a development task); flat-level feed of
comments with no hierarchy.

2. Blog comment style, with Comment, where the focus is on the comment
content, and its relation to other comments in the thread, in addition to
the item being commented on (Article, BlogPosting, etc.); possible with
unlimited hierarchy of comments.

Scenario #2 is currently broken and not possible due to the lacking link
through the comment property to a descendant comment.

This proposal would not pose any risk of breaking existing code, but would
provide a very clear methodology for how to mark up blog comments, which
the UserComments regime does not currently support.

Regardless of what happens to UserComments vs. Comment, the community
really needs to publish some clear, exhaustive examples of how to use these
item types properly - there are literally zero of these in existence at the

If the goal is to see wider usage of, it should be much easier
for developers to learn how to use it properly, with all its intricacies.


George Gooding
Front End Web Engineer

Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 02:33:27 UTC