[whatwg] Ghosts from the past and the semantic Web

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Thu Aug 28 12:18:04 PDT 2008

On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 1:59 PM, Kristof Zelechovski
<giecrilj at stegny.2a.pl>wrote:

> I am not opposing local metadata; I have already explained you can use the
> SCRIPT element for the purpose.  I only say that metadata should not be
> inside content they describe in order to avoid circularity.  This is a
> philosophical objection, not a technical one.
> Chris

Honestly, Kristof, I think it's simple to assume that the metadata semantics
is in a different 'stream' that the main document, and thus you don't have
recursive metadata about metadata.

Imagine for a moment that CSS had an XML syntax (::shudder::).  We wouldn't
assume that the styling information applies to stuff within the <css>
element, even if a selector *would* naively match an element there.  Styling
information doesn't style itself by useful definition, and metadata doesn't
impart semantics to itself.  Any occurence of accidental self-reference is
assumed to be just that - an accident - and discarded as spurious.

In a real-world example, no existing parser that recognizes @rel=license
assumes that you are licensing the actual text/picture within the license.
It's assumed to apply to everything in the document *except* for the license
data itself.

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