[uf-new] RFC: hAudio RDFa specification

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Thu Jul 26 11:46:04 PDT 2007

Brian Suda wrote:
> On 7/25/07, Manu Sporny <msporny at digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
>> 1. Provide an alternative mark-up for the semantic vocabulary generated
>>    via the Microformats process.
> --- this is one of the things that microformats wants to prevent...
> there is no need to have multiple ways of doing the same thing 10
> different ways. If something is working then there is no need to
> replicate it, confuse people, and create potential drift... it is best
> to keep it simple.

I agree with you in concept, Brian. One way of doing something is always
easier than many ways of doing something.

That being said, there are numerous image formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF,
BMP, etc.). I don't think most would argue that this is a bad thing -
each has it's purpose - its strengths and its weaknesses.

My argument is that the world is moving forward and creating new
semantic formats without this community. We should not be insular and
should take part in what is going on outside this community. There are
already several initiatives to create semantic audio formats for the

We have done a good job at identifying a minimum vocabulary that is
already in use. That semantic vocabulary (discovered via the
Microformats process) is separate from that vocabulary's implementation
(uF, RDFa, RDF, etc.)

Let's not loose sight of the fact that we can shape the discussion in
other communities because we have solid data to back up our semantic
vocabularies - this is often not the case in other standards bodies.

>> 2. Do what we say in the Microformats Copyright Statement:
>>    "the authors intend to submit this specification to a standards
>>    body". As far as I know, no Microformat has been put through the
>>    W3C process yet, has it?
> --- this is correct, but the W3C is not the only potential standard's body.

Are there other standards bodies that we should focus on?

>> 3. Directly address the uF name spacing and scoping issues that some in
>>    the uF community have raised concerns about.
> --- if this is an issue and you intend to solve this through the use
> of a different encoding practice (RDFa), then you will not be able to
> keep the microformats and the RDFa in sync. Why duplicate the work?

We will be able to do a good job of keeping the RDFa in sync if we are
authoring the RDFa spec as well... which is what is happening in this
case. We should be represented in any standards body that is doing work
similar to ours.

This Microformats specification community should be known for working
openly with other specification communities.

In addition, RDFa is created so that any community may create a
specification independently of other communities. It is ideally suited
to the Microformat community's goal of creating open standards.

Furthermore, if there are 10 independent audio RDFa specifications out
there, and the Microformats community has put their support behind the
hAudio RDFa vocabulary, the choice among web publishers would be clear
(if the uF community is respected as a standards body by that point).

>> 4. Get wider approval for hAudio than just the Microformats community.
>>    Specifically, the W3C and Creative Commons.
> --- i would worry less about other standard body and be more concerned
> with publishers. Others standards bodies are motivated by their
> corporate sponsers... microformats on the other hand, are motivated by
> publishers. If you want formats to be taken-up then i would focus on
> the publishers and not standard's bodies.

I am getting involved with other standards bodies because I believe that
the publishers should be represented there as well. This is an
initiative that has the publisher's needs at the forefront. It is vital
that standards bodies know about the work that we are doing here and the
best way for that to happen is to go to those standards bodies and
present our research and standards there.

If the other standards bodies don't listen to us, we are not worse off.
If they do listen to us, then we are shaping the standards process
discussion in favor of logic, reason and the publishers - which is, in
my humble opinion, an admirable goal.

-- manu

[1] http://sw.joanneum.at/rammx/
[2] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/mmsem/

More information about the microformats-new mailing list