[whatwg] Annotating structured data that HTML has no semantics for
shelleyp at burningbird.net
Fri May 15 04:58:03 PDT 2009
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On May 14, 2009, at 1:30 PM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> So, if I'm pushing for RDFa, it's not because I want to "win". It's
>> because I have things I want to do now, and I would like to make sure
>> have a reasonable chance of working a couple of years in the future.
>> And yeah, once SVG is in HTML5, and RDFa can work with HTML5, maybe I
>> wouldn't mind giving old HTML a try again. Lord knows I'd like to
>> user ampersands again.
> It sounds like your argument comes down to this: you have personally
> invested in RDFa, therefore having a competing technology is bad,
> regardless of the technical merits. I don't mean to parody here - I am
> somewhat sympathetic to this line of argument. Often pragmatic
> concerns mean that an incremental improvement just isn't worth the
> cost of switching (for example HTML vs. XHTML). My personally judgment
> is that we're not past the point of no return on data embedding.
> There's microformats, RDFa, and then dozens of other serializations of
> RDF (some of which you cited). This doesn't seem like a space on the
> verge of picking a single winner, and the players seem willing to
> experiment with different options.
There are not dozens of other serializations of RDF.
The point I was trying to make is, I'd rather put my time into something
that exists now, than have to watch the wheel re-invented. I'd rather
see semantic metadata become a reality. I'm glad that you personally
feel that companies will be just peachy keen on having to support
multiple parsers to get the same data.
On the HTML WG side, I will never support microdata, because no case has
been made for its existence.
>>>> The point is, people in the real world have to use this stuff. It
>>>> helps them if they have one, generally agreed on approach. As it
>>>> is, folks have to contend with both RDFa and microformats, but at
>>>> least we know these have different purposes.
>>> From my cursory study, I think microdata could subsume many of the
>>> use cases of both microformats and RDFa. It seems to me that it
>>> avoids much of what microformats advocates find objectionable, and
>>> provides a good basis for new microformats; but at the same time it
>>> seems it can represent a full RDF data model. Thus, I think we have
>>> the potential to get one solution that works for everyone.
>>> I'm not 100% sure microdata can really achieve this, but I think
>>> making the attempt is a positive step.
>> It can't, don't you see?
>> Microdata will only work in HTML5/XHTML5. XHTML 1.1 and yes, 2.0 will
>> be around for years, decades. In addition, XHTML5 already supports RDFa.
> Supporting XHTML 1.1 has about 0.00000000001% as much value as
> supporting text/html. XHTML 2.0 is completely irrelevant to the Web,
> and looks on track to remain so. So I don't find this point very
I don't think you'll find that the world is breathlessly waiting for
HTML5. I think you'll find that XHTML 1.1 will have wider use than HTML5
for the next decade. If not longer. I wouldn't count out XHTML 2.0,
either. And in a decade, a lot can change.
>> Why you think something completely brand new, no vendor support,
>> drummed up in a few hours or a day or so is more robust, and a better
>> option than a mature spec in wide use, well frankly boggles my mind.
> I haven't evaluated it enough to know for sure (as I said). I do think
> avoiding CURIEs is extremely valuable from the point of view of sane
> text/html semantics and ease of authoring; and RDF experts seem to
> think it works fine for representing RDF data models. So tentatively,
> I don't see any gaping holes. If you see a technical problem, and not
> just potential competition for the technology you've invested in, then
> you should definitely cite it.
I don't think CURIEs are that difficult, nor impossible no matter the
arguments that Henri brings out.
>> I am impressed with your belief in HTML5.
>>> One other detail that it seems not many people have picked up on yet
>>> is that microdata proposes a DOM API to extract microdata-based info
>>> from a live document on the client side. In my opinion this is huge
>>> and has the potential to greatly increase author interest in
>>> semantic markup.
>> Not really. Can do this now with RDFa in XHTML. And I don't need any
>> new DOM to do it.
>> The power of semantic markup isn't really seen until you take that
>> markup data _outside_ the document. And merge that data with data
>> from other documents. Google rich snippets. Yahoo searchmonkey. Heck,
>> even an application that manages the data from different subsites of
>> one domain.
> I respectfully disagree. An API to do things client-side that doesn't
> require an external library is extremely powerful, because it lets
> content authors easily make use of the very same semantic markup that
> they are vending for third parties, so they have more incentive to use
> it and get it right.
Sure, we'll have to disagree on this one.
>>> Now, it may be that microdata will ultimately fail, either because
>>> it is outcompeted by RDFa, or because not enough people care about
>>> semantic markup, or whatever. But at least for now, I don't see a
>>> reason to strangle it in the cradle.
>> Outcompeted...wow, what a way to think of it. Sorry, but competition
>> has no place in spec work.
> With due respect, you're the one who brought competition into this
> discussion by saying there can only be one winner. I don't really
> think that's true, in this case.
Thanks for the discussion.
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