W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > May 2008

Re: New draft of TAG Finding: The Self-Describing Web

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 17:42:14 -0400
To: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF2E4441DC.0456E9F2-ON8525744E.007704F6-8525744E.00771E81@lotus.com>

This is both very helpful and very timely, as the discussion of the 
Self-Describing Web draft is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday afternoon. 
Thank you to all of you who took the trouble to contribute to this very 
useful input to the discussions. 


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
05/19/2008 01:43 PM
        To:     noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
        cc:     www-tag@w3.org
        Subject:        Re: New draft of TAG Finding: The Self-Describing 

Noah et. al.,

The RDFa Task Force has not completed a formal reply to this document. 
However, I wanted to get you some personal but more-or-less authoritative 
feedback prior to your meeting this week.  Sorry it is so late.

In section 5.1 this document discusses using RDFa to produce 
self-describing HTML.  First, thanks for including this important emerging 
technology in your finding.  I have only a few comments:
1.      The title and the section refer to HTML.  To date we have not 
defined RDFa in terms of HTML, only in terms of XHTML.  Please be sure 
that you are only referring to XHTML in this section.
2.      The last paragraph reads in part "For this example document to be 
self-describing, the pertinent media type and the specifications on which 
it depends must provide for the use of RDFa in XHTML; at the time of this 
writing, they do not."  The XHTML 2 Working Group disagrees with this 
statement.  The Media Type definition [1] indicates that XHTML Family 
document types can use application/xhtml+xml.  The specification [2] 
defines XHTML+RDFa, a markup language.  Further, the specification 
declares that the document type is in fact part of that family.  The 
specification also (obviously) defines how RDF is embedded in XHTML. So 
the specification, per force, defines the connection and enables the use 
use of RDFa in XHTML+RDFa. 
3.      You also mention in an Editorial note the XHTML namespace 
document.  The XHTML 2 Working Group and the RDFa Task Force are 
investigating changing the namespace document so that it explicitly refers 
to a GRDDL transform that would extract RDF from documents using that 
namespace.  This is dependent upon an XSLT implementation of RDFa - one is 
currently in development.  However, once complete we hope it will satisfy 
your requirements in that a "follow-your-nose" approach will render a 
document "self-describing".  However, there has been some discussion that 
having this in the XHTML Namespace Document (as defined in [3]) will 
obviate the need for other announcement mechanisms to be used in 
XHTML+RDFa documents (e.g., a DOCTYPE, SchemaLocation, @version attribute 
on the root element, or whatever).  I for one would welcome input from the 
TAG on whether you believe this namespace document alteration is 
4.      Finally, you have a reference to the Media Type declaration in the 
last paragraph.  However, it says "XHMTLMediaType" instead of 
"XHTMLMediaType" ;-)
[1] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3236.txt
[2] http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/2008/ED-rdfa-syntax-20080519/
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/REC-grddl-20070911/#ns-bind

There may be other formal comments from the group in the future, but these 
are all I have captured to date.

noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote: 
I'm pleased to announce the availablity of a new draft of a W3C TAG 
Finding on "The Self-Describing Web".  [1,2]  There are a number of 
significant revisions, most of which were motivated by suggestions made by 

the TAG at the face to face meeting in February, 2008 [3].  I have also 
attempted to address the several suggestions I've received in email since 
the previous draft [4] was published.

I expect that this new draft will be discussed at the upcoming face to 
face meeting of the TAG in Bristol, and it's my hope that we'll find it 
more or less ready for final publication.  I know of at least two areas in 

which a little bit of further cleanup will be needed:

* Tim Berners-Lee has asked me to include a diagram that he's prepared 
that shows in some detail the "algorithm" used to explore information on 
the Web.  I have included it [5], but the only copy available to me is a 
.png that is not suitable for editing or cleanup.  There are at least a 
few typos in it, and the size is a problem when printing. I'm hoping that 
Tim can get me the source, or else can help me get a cleaner copy for 
inclusion in the final finding.

* I have updated the discussion on RDFa [6], reflecting in part the latest 

RDFa drafts [7,8] and also some guidance received from members of the 
group(s) working on RDFa.  I encourage members of the TAG to satisfy 
themselves that the revised text conveys the right messages, and I of 
course encourage those involved with RDFa to make sure I haven't 
misunderstood their intentions.  If that all goes OK, then we'll have to 
decide whether to point to the RDFa working drafts, or else to hold up the 

self-description finding until RDFa progresses.  (FWIW: I'd really like to 

ship the self-desc. finding).

Comments should be sent to the www-tag@w3.org mailing list.  Thank you.


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments-2008-05-12.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2008/02/27-minutes#item04
[4] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments-2008-02-08.html
[5] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments.html#AlgPicture

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142


Shane P. McCarron                          Phone: +1 763 786-8160 x120
Managing Director                            Fax: +1 763 786-8180
ApTest Minnesota                            Inet: shane@aptest.com
Received on Monday, 19 May 2008 21:41:50 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:56:22 UTC