[whatwg] microdata use cases and Getting data out of poorly written Web pages

Shelley Powers shelleyp at burningbird.net
Fri May 8 13:47:50 PDT 2009

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 8 May 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> It's difficult to tell where one should comment on the so-called 
>> microdata use cases. I'm forced to send to multiple mailing lists.
> Please don't cross-post to the WHATWG list and other lists -- you may pick 
> either one, I read all of them. (Cross-posting results in a lot of 
> confusion because some of the lists only allow members to posts, which 
> others allow anyone to post, so we end up with fragmented threads.)
But different people respond to the mailings in different ways, 
depending on the list. This isn't just you, Ian. How can I ensure that 
the W3C people have access to the same concerns?
>> Ian, I would like to see the original request that went into this 
>> particular use case. In particular, I'd like to know who originated it, 
>> so that we can ensure that the person has read your follow-up, as well 
>> as how you condensed the use case down (to check if your interpretation 
>> is proper or not).
> I did not keep track of where the use cases came from (I generally ignore 
> the source of requests so as to avoid any possible bias).
Documenting the originator of a use case is introducing bias? In what 

If anything, documenting where the use cases come from, and providing 
access to the original, raw data helps to ensure that bias has not been 
introduced. More importantly, it gives your teammates a chance to verify 
your interpretation of the use cases, and provide correction, if needed.

> However, I can probably figure out some of the sources of a particular 
> scenario if you have a specific one in mind. Could you clarify which 
> scenario or requirement you are particularly interested in?
Ian, I think its important that you provide a place documenting the 
original raw data. This provides a historical perspective on the 
decisions going into HTML5 if nothing else.

If you need help, I'm willing to help you. You'll need to forward me the 
emails you received, and send me links to the other locations. I'll then 
put all these into a document and we can work to map to your condensed 
document. That way there's accountability at all steps in the decision 
process, as well as transparency.

Once I put the document together, we can put with other documents that 
also provide history of the decision processes.
>> In addition, from my reading of this posting of yours titled "[whatwg] 
>> Getting data out of poorly written Web pages", is this open for any 
>> discussion?
> Naturally, all input is always welcome.
No, I didn't ask if input was welcome. I asked if this was still open 
for discussion, or if you have made up your mind, and and further 
discussion will just be wasting everyone's time.
>> It seems to me that you received the original data, generated a use case 
>> document from the data, unilaterally, and now you're making unilateral 
>> decisions as to whether the use case requires a change in HTML5 or not.
>> Is this what we can expect from all of the use cases?
> Yes.
That's not appropriate for a team environment.
> If my proposals don't actually address the use cases, then please do point 
> how that is the case. Similarly, if there are missing use cases, please 
> bring them up. All input is always welcome (whether on the lists, or 
> direct e-mal, on blogs, or wherever). None of the text in the HTML5 spec 
> is frozen, it's merely a proposal. If there are use cases that should be 
> addressed that are not addressed then we should address them.
Again, how can I? I don't have the original data.
> (Regarding microdata note that I've so far only sent proposals for three 
> of the 20 use cases that I collected. I've still got a lot to go through.)
After digging, I found another one, at


Again, though, the writing style indicates the item is closed, and 
discussion is not welcome. I have to assume that this is how you 
mentally perceive the item, and therefore though we may respond, the 
response will make no difference.

And I can't find the third one. Perhaps you can provide a direct link.

I'm concerned, too, about the fact that the discussion for these is 
happening on the WhatWG group, but not in the HTML WG email list. I've 
never understood two different email lists, and have felt having both is 
confusing, and potentially misleading. Regardless, shouldn't this 
discussion be taking place in the HTML WG, too?

Isn't the specification the W3C HTML5 specification, also?

I'm just concerned because from what I can see of both groups, interests 
and concerns differ between the groups. That means only addressing 
issues in one group, would leave out potentially important discussions 
in the other group.


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