[whatwg] Annotating structured data that HTML has no semantics for
mjs at apple.com
Mon May 18 06:23:05 PDT 2009
On May 18, 2009, at 6:05 AM, Eduard Pascual wrote:
> On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 10:38 AM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at iki.fi>
>> On May 14, 2009, at 23:52, Eduard Pascual wrote:
>>> On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 3:54 PM, Philip Taylor <excors+whatwg at gmail.com
>>> It doesn't matter one syntax or another. But if a syntax already
>>> exists (RDFa), building a new syntax should be properly justified.
>> It was at the start of this thread:
> Ian's initial message goes step by step through the creation of this
> new syntax; but does *not* mention at all *why* it was being created
> on the first place. The insight into the choices taken is indeed a
> good think, and I thank Ian for it; but he omitted to provide insight
> into the first choice taken: discarding the multiple options already
> available (not only Microformats and RDFa, but also other less
> discussed ones such as eRDF, EASE, etc).
I think Ian did explain why he discarded RDFa as an option.
In the email linked above, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Another solution we could consider is RDFa:
> <section typeof="d:cat" xmlns:d="http://damowmow.com/">
> <h1 property="d:name">Hedral</h1>
> <p property="d:desc">Hedral is a male american domestic
> with a fluffy black fur with white paws and belly.</p>
> <img src="hedral.jpeg" alt="" title="Hedral, age 18 months"
> class="photo" rel="d:img">
> This unfortunately also has a number of problems.
> - it uses prefixes, which most authors simply do not understand, and
> which many implementors end up getting wrong (e.g. SearchMonkey
> hard-coded certain prefixes in its first implementation, Google's
> handling of RDF blocks for license declarations is all done with
> regular expressions instead of actually parsing the namespaces,
> Even if implemented right, namespaces still lead to flaky
> copy-and-paste behaviour.
> - it sometimes uses rel="" and sometimes uses property="" and it's
> to know when to use one or the other.
> - it introduces much more power than is necessary to solve this
I believe Microformats were discarded as a solution because the
proposed use case was as follows:
> USE CASE: Annotate structured data that HTML has no semantics for,
> and which nobody has annotated before, and may never again, for
> private use or use in a small self-contained community.
But Microformats are only intended for widely used and generally
agreed upon public vocabularies. The Microformats process is not
applicable to private-use/small-community vocabularies. And
Microformats define specific vocabularies, not a general way to add
new kinds of semantic markup. I expect Microformats experts would
agree with this assessment.
So I think it is clear why neither Microformats or RDFa were seen as
suitable solutions to the use case, even if the matter was addressed
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