[whatwg] Ghosts from the past and the semantic Web

Ben Adida ben at adida.net
Wed Aug 27 19:27:52 PDT 2008

Shannon wrote:
> I think you were on to something with the CSS-like approach. Ian has
> stated earlier that class should be considered a generic categorisation
> element rather than only a CSS hook.

Three things:

1) specifying the semantics only in a separate file rules out a very
important use case: the ability to simply paste a chunk of HTML into
your site and have it carry with it all metadata. Think MySpace, Google
widgets, Creative Commons,.... This is crucial to the design of
HTML-based metadata.

2) the CSS approach you're proposing is local to the web
site/application: very hard to reuse things like "item price" across
sites in a way that will be consistent. That's what URIs are for.

3) reinventing metadata from scratch, and without URIs? Is that really
necessary? We're trying to reuse years' worth of important work from the
RDF community. There are so many important issues to consider regarding
the reuse of vocabularies, the ability to discover basic information
about vocabularies, etc...

> If RDF or RDFa are considered too heavy to be a default language (and
> they suffer from being impossible to embed inline

You should take a look at the RDFa Primer:


The examples show that RDFa is *built* for embedding.


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