Re: Dropping RDF mapping from microdata spec

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM, Jeni Tennison <> wrote:
> Ian is proposing dropping the RDF mapping from the microdata spec (see first comment at):
> Since the presence of that part of the microdata spec is a primary cause of conflict between it and RDFa, and the RDF that is produced by it doesn't match people's expectations (about which Tim filed a bug), I assume that we would support such a change?

I think there are many ways to look at this, but one theory I've
entertained is that microdata bears the same relation to RDF that,
say, XML or CSV does - it's just another information source that has
to be reverse engineered and then re-expressed if it wants to be used
by in an RDF context. Therefore, dictating a single standard way to do
the re-expression may be as premature and/or inappropriate as it would
be for CSV or XML. If some RDF is to capture the meaning of some
microdata, then someone has to come up with a theory that accounts for
what the particular microdata means, and such a theory might be
subtle, nontrivial, or context-dependent - at the very least it
requires some thought.  And even if a standard correspondence were
desired by the (or an) RDF-using community, that method would probably
better be specified by those affected, rather than by a working group
that is obviously not sympathetic to RDF.

GRDDL was somewhat similar, and it had its own working group. The
analogy here would be if GRDDL had been produced by an XML activity
working group. It wasn't, and for good reason. (Don't misunderstand
me, I'm not saying at all that style sheets might be the way to
convert microdata; I'm speaking at a very general level about
technical communities and relations between specs.)

So my impulse is to agree with Ian and with you. But I could also
agree with Henry: If you don't prescribe a re-expression of microdata
as RDF now, then maybe any hope of doing so later will be doomed.

(I'm assuming throughout that microdata and RDFa remain separate
things, and this may change.)

I didn't think that the microdata to RDF translation is the 'primary
cause of conflict' in the microdata/RDFa debate; it's just one piece
of it. Even without any translation at all, we would still have the
questions of whether there is duplicate functionality, whether that
matters, and whether anything ought to be done about it.


Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:07:07 UTC