[whatwg] RDFa uses CURIEs, not QNames

Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Fri Aug 29 12:55:13 PDT 2008

Ben Adida wrote:

> We're not dealing with an existing technology that is going to be made
> somehow incompatible because of CURIE support. None of the existing HTML
> tools will have to change (they already ignore attributes they don't
> know, given that, e.g., a number of JavaScript libraries use their own
> attributes). None of the HTML parsers will have to change. None of the
> other specifications will have to change one iota.
> The changes we're proposing are entirely self-contained.

Sadly, they aren't, though not in the way you mean.

The specific problem I refer to is that the string foo:localName has no 
defined namespace absent an outer context. Leaving aside all the other 
problems with namespaces (and they are legion) that was a mistake. And 
CURIEs most definitely appear to be repeating that mistake.

Unlike namespaces, though, CURIEs are unlikely to convince maintainers 
of DOM/SAX/JDOM/XPath/XQuery/etc. to add special support for their 
indirection. This is going to make them even harder for developers to 
use. :-(

Elliotte Rusty Harold
elharo at metalab.unc.edu

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