[whatwg] A Selector-based metadata proposal (was: Annotating structured data that HTML has no semantics for)

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Jul 8 15:06:26 PDT 2009

On Wed, 10 Jun 2009, Eduard Pascual wrote:
> >
> > I think this is a level of indirection too far -- when something is a 
> > heading, it should _be_ a heading, it shouldn't be labeled opaquely 
> > with a transformation sheet elsewhere defining that is maps to the 
> > heading semantic.
> That doesn't make much sense. When something is a heading, it *is* a 
> heading. What do you mean by "should be a heading?".

I mean that a conforming implementation should intrinsically know that the 
content is a heading, without having to do further processing to discover 

For example, with this CSS and HTML:

   h1 { color: blue; }

   <h1> Introduction </h1>

...the HTML processor knows, regardless of what else is going on, that the 
word "Introduction" is part of a heading. It only knows that the word 
should be blue after applying processing rules for CSS.

I think by and large the same should hold for more elaborate semantics.

(I didn't really agree with your other responses regarding my criticisms 
of your proposal either, but I don't have anything except my opinions to 
go on as far as those go, so I can't argue my case usefully there.)

> > I think CRDF has a bright future in doing the kind of thing GRDDL does,
> I'm not sure about what GRDDL does: I just took a look through the spec, 
> and it seems to me that it's just an overcomplication of what XSLT can 
> already do; so I'm not sure if I should take that statement as a good or 
> a bad thing.

A good thing.

GRDDL is a way to take an HTML page and infer RDF information from that 
page despite the page, e.g. by "implementing" Microformats using XSLT. So 
for example, GRDDL can be used to extract hCard data from an HTML page and 
turn it into RDF data.

> > It's an interesting way of converting, say, Microformats to RDF.
> The ability to convert Microformats to RDF was intended (although not 
> fully achieved: some "bad" content would be treated differently between 
> CRDF and Microformats); and in the same way CRDF also provides the 
> ability to define de-centralized Microformats.org-like vocabularies (I'm 
> not sure if referring to these as "microformats" would still be 
> appropiate).

I think this is a particularly useful feature; I would encourage you to 
continue to develop this idea as a separate language, and see if there is 
a market for it.

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

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