[whatwg] Annotating structured data that HTML has no semanticsfor

Shelley Powers shelleyp at burningbird.net
Fri May 15 05:11:52 PDT 2009

Kristof Zelechovski wrote:
> I do not think anybody in WHATWG hates the CURIE tool; however, the
> following problems have been put forward:
> Copy-Paste
> 	The CURIE mechanism is considered inconvenient because is not
> copy-paste-resilient, and the associated risk is that semantic elements
> would randomly change their meaning.

Well, no, the elements won't randomly change their meaning. The only 
risk is copying and pasting them into a document that doesn't provide 
namespace definitions for the prefixes. Are you thinking that someone 
will be using different namespaces but the same prefix? Come on -- do 
you really think that will happen?

How big a risk is this? I would actually say it's minor. Probably no 
more of a risk than happened with people making copies of other web page 
content, and cutting off the end, or forgetting to change all the values 
once copied.

People can copy and paste JavaScript that references elements with 
certain identifiers. If those aren't used correctly, the application 
will also fail. Therefore we should not allow copying and pasting of 
script? How about CSS, then. Can't copy and paste CSS, because again 
this action is dependent on another and equal action either in a 
separate document, or elsewhere in the page.

There is no such thing as risk free copy and paste. And frankly, few 
people will be doing copying and pasting. Most metadata will probably be 
added either as part of an underlying tool, like Drupal, or using 
modules and plug-ins that come with documentation, or insert what's 
needed dynamically.

This isn't HTML 3.0 times any more.

> Link rot
> 	CURIE definitions can only be looked up while the CURIE server is
> providing them; the chance of the URL becoming broken is high for
> home-brewed vocabularies.  While the vocabularies can be moved elsewhere, it
> will not always be possible to create a redirect.
> Chris

Well, now, have you tried to look up one of the reversed DNS values yet?

I don't believe that link rot was ever really considered an issue with 


More information about the whatwg mailing list