[whatwg] Generic Metadata Mechanisms (RDFa feedback summary wikipage)
ian at hixie.ch
Wed Sep 10 13:15:19 PDT 2008
On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, Manu Sporny wrote:
> There will, of course, be many more examples of the problem following
> the same format as shown above. Is this what you had in mind for the
> problem description? If so, give us some time and we'll be able to
> refine that page in the coming months.
That's indeed the kind of thing that would be helpful. It's also important
to indicate why we think that authors will want to actually indicate the
information here. For example, in the music case, do authors want to
expose that information, or are we merely hoping they will? Ideally,
evidence of browser vendors, browser extension authors, or authors working
around the lack of a feature is the kind of evidence we need to
demonstrate a need. For example, are there browsers that are implementing
<audio> in a way that hoks into iTunes? Or are there extension authors
that support a custom class attribute that interacts with WinAmp? Or has
Amazon looked for a mechanism to transfer purchases into media libraries
other than using their download tool? Would they actually use a mechanism
if we provided it? How would such a mechanism work, and would it be
well-defined enough to handle things like resumable downloads, financial
transactions, and individualised MP3s interoperably?
Basically we need to show that we are addressing real needs and not just
abstracting out what looks to us like common elements to multiple problems
and providing a single generic mechanism that doesn't actually usefully
solve the real problems.
The same reasoning is why HTML has a bunch of explicit data types for its
form <input> controls instead of having a generic type system like XML
Schema and letting <input> controls be invented for any type. While the
latter, with user agents dynamically creating form controls on the fly,
would be a much more generic solution and would satsify the computer
science abstraction aesthetic, it turns out to really not be what authors
want, and at the end of the day an explicit but closed set of types ends
up satisfying the bulk of authors much more. Although it doesn't solve all
the problems that a generic system does, it solves the 80% case better,
and that is what matters.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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