[whatwg] Trying to work out the problems solved by RDFa

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 12:14:18 PST 2009

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM, Ben Adida <ben at adida.net> wrote:
> Julian Reschke wrote:
>>> Because the issue is that we don't yet know if we want to support
>>> RDFa.  That's the whole point of this thread.  Nobody's given a useful
>>> problem statement yet, so we can't evaluate whether there's a problem
>>> we need to solve, or how we should solve it.
>> For the record: I disagree with that. I have the impression that no
>> matter how many problems are presented, the answer is going to be: "not
>> that stone -- fetch me another stone".
> For the record: I completely agree with Julian. This is why I haven't
> jumped into this thread yet again.
> The key piece of evidence here is SearchMonkey, a product by Yahoo that
> specifically uses RDFa. Even its microformat support funnels everything
> to an RDF-like metadata approach. With thousands of application
> developers and some concrete examples that specifically use RDFa (the
> Creative Commons application being one of them), the message from many
> on this list remains "not good enough."
> I'm not sure where the bar is, but it seems far from objective.

Actually, SearchMonkey is an excellent use case, and provides a
problem statement.


Site owners want a way to provide enhanced search results to the
engines, so that an entry in the search results page is more than just
a bare link and snippet of text, and provides additional resources for
users straight on the search page without them having to click into
the page and discover those resources themselves.

For example (taken directly from the SearchMonkey docs), yelp.com may
want to provide additional information on restaurants they have
reviews for, pushing info on price, rating, and phone number directly
into the search results, along with links straight to their reviews or
photos of the restaurant.

Different sites will have vastly different needs and requirements in
this regard, preventing natural discovery by crawlers from being

(SearchMonkey itself relies on the user registering an add-in on their
Yahoo account, so spammers can't exploit this - the user has to
proactively decide they want additional information from a site to
show up in their results, then they click a link and the rest is

That really wasn't hard.  I'd never seen SearchMonkey before (it's
possible it was mentioned, but I know that it was never explicitly
described), but it's a really sweet app that helps both authors and
users.  That's a check mark in my book.


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