[whatwg] RDFa is to structured data, like canvas is to bitmap and SVG is to vector

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sat Jan 17 11:24:23 PST 2009

On Sat, 17 Jan 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
> Shelley Powers wrote:
> >
> > So, why accept that we have to use MathML in order to solve the 
> > problems of formatting mathematical formula? Why not start from 
> > scratch, and devise a new approach?
> Ian explored (and answered) that here:
> http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2008-April/014372.html
> Key to Ian's decision was the importance of DOM integration for this 
> vocabulary.  If DOM integration is essential for RDFa, then perhaps the 
> same principles apply.  If not, perhaps some other principles may apply.

Sam's point here bears repeating, because there seems to be an impression 
that we took on SVG and MathML without any consideration, while RDF is 
getting an unfair reception.

On the contrary, SVG and MathML got the same reception. For MathML, for 
instance, a number of options were very seriously considered, most notably 
LaTeX. For SVG, we considered a variety of options including VML.

I would encourage people to read the e-mail Sam cited:


It's long, but the start of it is a summary of what was considered and 
shows that the same process derived from use cases was used for SVG and 
MathML as is being used on this thread here.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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