[whatwg] Alternative method of declaring prefixes in RDFa (was Re: RDFa is to structured data, like canvas is to bitmap and SVG is to vector)

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Sun Jan 18 16:18:11 PST 2009

Toby A Inkster wrote:
> So RDFa, as it is currently defined, does need a CURIE binding
> mechanism. XML namespaces are used for XHTML+RDFa 1.0, but given that
> namespaces don't work in HTML, an alternative mechanism for defining
> them is expected, and for consistency would probably be allowed in XHTML
> too - albeit in a future version of XHTML+RDFa, as 1.0 is already
> finalised. (I don't speak for the RDFa task force as I am not a member,
> but I would be surprised if many of them disagreed with me strongly on
> this.)

Speaking as an RDFa Task Force member - we're currently looking at an
alternative prefix binding mechanism, so that this:


could also be declared like this in non-XML family languages:


The thought is that this prefix binding mechanism would be available in
both XML and non-XML family languages.

The reason that we used xmlns: was because our charter was to
specifically create a mechanism for RDF in XHTML markup. The XML folks
would have berated us if we created a new namespace declaration
mechanism without using an attribute that already existed for exactly
that purpose.

That being said, we're now being berated by the WHATWG list for doing
the Right Thing per our charter... sometimes you just can't win :)

I don't think that the RDFa Task Force is as rigid in their positions as
some on this list are claiming... we do understand the issues, are
working to resolve issues or educate where possible and desire an open
dialog with WHATWG.

-- manu

Manu Sporny
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Bitmunk 3.1 Website Launch

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