[whatwg] Ghosts from the past and the semantic Web

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jan 22 17:02:17 PST 2009

On Thu, 28 Aug 2008, James Graham wrote:
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
> > On Aug 28, 2008, at 15:00, Russell Leggett wrote:
> > 
> > > I actually think that using custom microformat-like conventions with 
> > > classes or tags is really not as robust a solution as what is being 
> > > attempted with RDFa (I honestly did not know much about RDFa before 
> > > this conversation). However, while people keep suggesting classes, I 
> > > have yet to hear anyone suggest the data- attributes. Maybe it was 
> > > said or implied elsewhere, but it seems like a good fit here. 
> > > Instead of requiring the addition of "about" or "property" 
> > > attributes, just use "data-about" or "data-property". It may not be 
> > > ideal, but it fits with the existing spec.
> > 
> > As Anne and Julian have pointed out, that's not a use of data-* 
> > attributes permitted by the spec.
> FWIW I think we have a problem in that multiple independent people have 
> seen data-* and assumed they are for externally readable metadata. If 
> the bad effects of people using it for that purpose are worse than the 
> usefulness of the feature, we need to consider removing the feature. If 
> the bad effects are not so bad we need to consider legitimizing this as 
> it is clearly something that it is clear will happen irrespective of 
> what the spec says.

I've added more text about data-*="".

I think the problem will resolve itself. If there are enough use cases for 
metadata, then we'll add something to HTML5 to support it (e.g. RDFa), 
thus relieving the pressure on data-*=""; if there aren't, then it doesn't 
matter, since the pressure will be minimal anyway.

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

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