[whatwg] RDFa

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Mon Aug 25 12:17:49 PDT 2008

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
> ... Since RDF vocabularies use URIs as
> identifiers, I find creating more microformats (even if they need more
> one-off speccing) a more appealing way forward from the language usage
> point of view than importing RDF vocabularies in a generically
> mappable way. (I can't see how generic mapping can be had without
> using URIs as identifiers.)

It's becoming more and more apparent that several vocal people in this
community believe that the Microformats design-as-you-go approach is the
best way forward when addressing the semantics expression issue.

The people that are not present in this discussion, however, are the
Microformats community. I am a frequent contributor to that community
and the lead editor on the only Microformat to be pushed through the
Microformats process in the past 3 years. I have taken the time to
outline why the "just take the Microformats approach" answer to the
question of semantics expression in HTML5 glosses over the details of
the problem that is being addressed with RDFa.

The Microformats community, nor our approaches, are going to solve some
of the most serious problems surrounding semantics expression for HTML5:


Our work with the Microformats community over the past two years have
shown that:

1. Vocabulary term collisions are a real issue and need to be addressed.
2. The Microformats community does not acknowledge vocabularies created
   outside of the Microformats Process.
3. The Microformats process is a slow, centralized on and doesn't afford
   distributed innovation at the same rate as would be provided by RDFa.

While the Microformats approach does solve several semantic web issues,
it does not address all of them, nor was it ever intended to be a
universal method of semantic data expression. Read the blog post to
understand some of the reasoning behind the points made above.

All the best, :)

-- manu

Manu Sporny
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Bitmunk 3.0 Website Launches

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