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Re: Treatment of RDFa in TAG Finding on Self-describing Web and feed back on RDFa in XHTML1.1

From: Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 01:00:22 +1300
To: RDFa <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Cc: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, www-tag@w3.org, Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, Ben Adida <ben@mit.edu>
Message-id: <48EDF256.8080701@dean.org.nz>

Steven Pemberton wrote:
>> I request that having a doctype for RDFa in XHTML1.1 documents become 
>> a MUST (compulsory), and not optional.
> Although I personally agree with you, my opinion was overruled in the 
> discussions.

By what rationale? Surely the fact that other specs (HTML5) were already 
using that method to identify their documents (to validators/authors 
etc) would have ruled out the need for such discussions. I assume the 
HTML5 languages were mentioned during these discussions?

Since Steven Pemberton is the HTML Activity Lead, surely he must have 
read the HTML5 spec and known that the XHTML variant of HTML5 was 
identified by the mime type and namespace and not by any doctype. There 
needs to be some sort of identification so that any (X)HTML5 documents 
are not confused with XHTML1.x documents. Up until now it's been fine 
since all XHTML1.x specs have used a doctype, now that it's been noticed 
that the XHTML variant of HTML5 doesn't use a doctype, another WG 
decides to copy that idea and create problems.

> Unfortunately, this is now too late in the process to make this change. 

I don't think so.

> You will have to make the request against a future version.

That's not satisfactory, it needs to be changed no matter how far along 
in the process the RDF in XHTML spec is. You can't just copy something 
from the HTML5 spec, and then when asked to change it back say: "It's 
too late". This isn't a feature request, I'm pointing out an error that 
the RDF in XHTML task force has made that needs to be corrected. The RDF 
in XHTML task force should have followed W3C procedure, should have 
listened to the advice of senior W3C staff and TAG members, they should 
have coordinated their efforts with other groups working on XHTML, 
instead, I find comments like these:

> > Ah.. so negotiation with the HTML WG _is_ in the critical path for RDFa.
> No. It's not on the critical path. It's not part of our charter so far.
> But I do hope that it makes it into the HTML WG at some point.
> > I've been struggling to get a clear answer about that (and
> > other requirements questions).
> What are the other requirements on which you don't have a clear answer?
> All of the issues you've brought up are in the issue tracking system, to
> the best of my knowledge.
> > The schedule you recently gave only goes up to Working Draft.
> > I suppose this negotiation should happen before Last Call; at the
> > vary latest, it has to happen before Proposed Recommendation.
> > http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/wiki/RDFa
> No, definitely not. We're not dealing with the HTML WG before this Last
> Call.

I'm sure if there had been coordination with the HTML WG, this clash 
would not have happened, either way, it will have to be rectified. So 
any "it's too late arguments" are moot.
>>> (Note that XHTML+RDFa is the first version of XHTML that doesn't 
>>> require a DTD declaration to identify itself.
>> I'm sorry, but that's not correct. The XHTML variant of the HTML5 
>> specification, which has been around for four years now, can only be 
>> sent with a XML mime type such as application/xhtml+xml or 
>> application/xml), so therefore does not need to have a doctype (as 
>> the mime type triggers standards mode) or a DTD (although there is an 
>> optional one).
> Well, HTML5 is only at WD stage at the moment.

I don't see what difference that makes.

I look forward to receiving a formal reply to my original request [1] 
from the RDF in XHTML task force.


Dean Edridge
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2008 12:01:04 UTC

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