[whatwg] RDFa uses CURIEs, not QNames (was: RDFa statement consistency)

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Thu Aug 28 22:08:37 PDT 2008

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> The idea and premise of RDF is sort of attractive (people being able to
> do their own thing, unified data model, etc), though I agree with others
> that the complexity (lengthy URIs, ***qname***/curie cruft) is an issue.

We do not use QName's in RDFa - there is not QName/CURIE cruft! We went
to great lengths to avoid QNames, please take the time to understand why
(it's because of the cruft that you complain about):

Here's an excerpt from the section in the CURIE spec that explains why
we don't use QNames in RDFa[1]:

    * CURIEs are designed from the ground up to be used in attribute
      values. QNames are designed for unambiguously naming elements and
    * CURIEs expand to any IRI. QNames are treated as value pairs, but
      even if those pairs are combined into a string, only a subset of
      IRIs can be represented.
    * CURIEs can be used in non-XML grammars, and can even be used in
      XML languages that do not support XML Namespaces. QNames are
      limited to XML Namespace-aware XML Applications.

The syntax document explains each bullet point more clearly in the
Introduction section[1].

In other words,

1) CURIEs always map to a IRI.
2) They don't have any constraints on the reference portion (the part
   after the colon).
3) They can be used outside of XML languages.
4) They were designed specifically for the purpose of compacting IRIs
   in attribute values.

RDFa is not encumbered by any QName cruftiness.

-- manu


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

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