[whatwg] Absent rev?

Dan Brickley danbri at danbri.org
Tue Nov 18 03:31:34 PST 2008

Smylers wrote:
> Martin McEvoy writes:
>>> o be precise, the most commonly used value was rev="made", which is
>>> equivalent to rel="author" and thus was not a convincing use case. 
>> !! rel-author doesn't mean the same as rev-made eg:
> In which cases doesn't it?  If A is the author of B then B was made by
> A, surely?

Then B contributed to the creation of A, yes. Perhaps not on their own.

But we need it in the other direction too: can we conclude from { A made 
B } that { B author A } ?

Not if B isn't textual. Authorship is about writing, but there are many 
other avenues for human creativity (some of which result in things with 
URLs, eg. software, images, sounds).

So there are two complications here, and these are very real world 
issues, chewing up countless hours in projects like Dublin Core.

First is "a" versus "the". Nothing warrants reading "the" into 
rel=author. There might be other authors, listed or not listed in their 
own hyperlink. Or the page pointed to might be a collectively maintained 
page or group homepage etc. Or a mailto: for a mailing list.

Second is non-textual creations. The early Dublin Core specs had a 
"dc:author" property. This was changed back in 1996 or so to be 
dc:creator, since this better includes visual works, museum artifacts 
and so forth, ie. things that can be made, but which are not 
(postmodernism aside) conventionally considered texts. Authorship is a 
notion that doesn't make much sense in a non-textual context.

My point in previous mail about shifting work from HTML5 to elsewhere, 
is that this kind of distinction is subtle for many seemingly obvious 
pairs of relationship-type names, and that rev= is at least precise in 
its meaning.




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