[uf-discuss] RDFa and microformats

Elias Torres elias at torrez.us
Tue May 30 11:25:35 PDT 2006


I admire your desire to continue this delicate conversation for the good
of the world. I was at WWW2006 and there was a lot of discussion on the
subject (uF and RDFa and even eRDF). I think your blog post [1] is right
along what my feelings are on the subject (Of course, I'm speaking
independently from W3C and IBM). I think everyone involved here has very
similar goals (at the high level) but I'm afraid the thought leaders in
the area might be becoming too entrenched in their own work and not
thinking for the rest of the community. During WWW2006 I heard
complaints from both uF and RDFa (future) implementors wanting more of a
joint effort or upgrade path from one to the other.

I think it's a fact (a technical one too) that none of the proposed (uF,
RDFa, eRDF) solutions are all complete, correct and low-cost, but I
think that there is still time to get together and solve this problem.
We are only creating a headache (a la RSS) that will take many years to
solve. I don't want to get into the technical details of the arguments
on any of the sides, but I want to voice my opinion as a supporter for a
collaborative effort. We could gain more if we gave it a shot at working
together by leveraging the unbelievable momentum uFs have and the more
general goals of RDFa even though in the end we might end up with *A*
totally different specification that what either of the current
proposals started as in their respective organizations. Unfortunately, I
have not seen many examples of people working with technology at this
level that are capable of putting their pride/egos aside and do what's
right and that's probably why "standards" sometimes have a bad
reputation in the eyes of many.


[1] http://evan.prodromou.name/RDFa_vs_microformats

Evan Prodromou wrote:
> I think that my question was misunderstood; I'm discussing a social and
> organizational issue rather than a technical one. It's an issue that
> very much matters to the future of microformats. Let me restate.
> A W3C effort to embed RDF in HTML is not a matter of if but a matter of
> when. Once such a project gains steam, it's going to cause Fear,
> Uncertainty and Doubt among implementers. Competition won't help anyone
> and will only serve to divide the market of developers.
> I think it's possible to nip such disruptive competition in the bud.
> There is still an opportunity to influence the development of the W3C
> standard such that whatever is created will be backwards-compatible or
> near-backwards-compatible with current microformats.org formats. That
> is, such a requirement could be baked into the standard-development
> process.
> I think that would be a win-win situation.
>       * The W3C RDF-in-HTML effort wins by piggy-backing on growing
>         microformats popularity.
>       * microformats.org wins by defining a long-term future for itself.
>       * Implementers win by getting the security to use de facto
>         standards today with upwards compatibility with future de jure
>         standards.
> There are other ways this situation can go; for example, the energy that
> goes into the fascinating work of developing mf's and promoting their
> use could instead be diverted to battling other efforts. That doesn't
> seem very productive to me.
> ~Evan
> P.S. At a technical level, I think that existing uf's could be made
> compatible with some as-of-yet undefined namespaced semantic XHTML
> format by adding a tiny fig leaf of a namespacing URL somewhere in the
> document. I don't really care where or how (<link rel="default XHTML
> namespace schema">? <head profile="...">? <div new:attribute="...">?).
> And I think that the onus of compatibility could easily be put on
> NameOfFutureStandard.
> ________________________________________________________________________
> Evan Prodromou <evan at prodromou.name>
> http://evan.prodromou.name/
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> microformats-discuss mailing list
> microformats-discuss at microformats.org
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