[whatwg] Annotating structured data that HTML has no semantics for

Eduard Pascual herenvardo at gmail.com
Thu May 14 13:52:57 PDT 2009

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 3:54 PM, Philip Taylor <excors+whatwg at gmail.com> wrote:
> [...]
> If we restrict literals to strings [...]
But *why* restrict literals to strings?? Being unable to state that
"2009-05-14" is a date makes that value completely useless: it would
only be useful on contexts where a date is expected (bascially,
because it is a date), but it can't be used on such contexts because
the tool retrieving the value has no hint about it being a date. Same
is true for integers, prices (a.k.a. decimals plus a currency symbol),
geographic coordinates, iguana descriptions, and so on.

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 8:25 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On May 14, 2009, at 5:18 AM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> So much concern about generating RDF, makes one wonder why we didn't just
>> implement RDFa...
> If it's possible to produce RDF triples from microdata, and if RDF triples
> of interest can be expressed with microdata, why does it matter if the
> concrete syntax is the same as RDFa? Isn't the important thing about RDF the
> data model, not the surface syntax?
It doesn't matter one syntax or another. But if a syntax already
exists (RDFa), building a new syntax should be properly justified. As
of now, the only supposed benefit I have heard of for this syntax is
that it avoids CURIEs... yet it replaces them with reversed domains??
Is that a benefit? I have been a Java programmer for some years, and
still find that convention absurd, horrible, and annoying. I'll agree
that CURIEs are ugly, and maybe hard to understand, but reversed
domains are equally ugly and hard to understand.

> (I understand that if the microdata syntax offered no advantages over RDFa,
> then it would be a wasted effort to diverge.
Which are the advantages it offers? I asked about them yesterday, and
no one has answered, so I'm asking again: please, enlighten me on this
because if I see no advantages myself and nobody else tells me about
any advantage, then the only conclusion a rational mind can take is
that there are no advantages. So, that's the position I'm on. I can
easily change my mind if anyone points out some advantage that might
actually help me more than RDFa when trying to add semantics and
metadata to my pages.

> But my impression is that you'd
> object to anything that isn't exactly identical to RDFa, even if it can
> easily be used in the same way.)
Actually, I do object to RDFa itself. Since the very first moment I
saw discussions about it on these lists, I have been trying to
highlight its flaws and to suggest ideas for alternatives.
Now, would you really expect me not to object to what, at least from
my current PoV, is simply worse than RDFa? IMHO, RDFa is just
*passable*, and microdata is too *mediocre* to get a pass. I don't
know about any solution that would be perfect, but I really think that
this community is definitely capable of producing something that is,
at least, *good*.

Of course, these are just my opinions, but I have told also what they
are based in. I'm eager to change my mind of there is base for it.

Eduard Pascual

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