The details of data in documents: GRDDL, profiles, and HTML5

GRDDL, a mechanism for putting RDF data in XML/XHTML documents, is specified mostly at the XPath data model level. Some GRDDL software goes beyond XML and supports HTML as she are spoke, aka tag soup. HTML 5 is intended to standardize the connection between tag soup and XPath. The tidy use case for GRDDL anticipates that using HTML 5 concrete syntax rather than XHTML 1.x concrete syntax involves no changes at the XPath level.

But in GRDDL and HTML5, Ian Hickson, editor of HTML 5, advocates dropping the profile attribute of the HTML head element in favor of rel=”profile” or some such. I dropped by the #microformats channel to think out loud about this stuff, and Tantek said similarly, “we may solve this with rel=”profile” anyway.” The rel-profile topic in the microformats wiki shows the idea goes pretty far back.

Possibilities I see include:

  • GRDDL implementations add support for rel=”profile” along with HTML 5 concrete syntax.
  • GRDDL implementors don’t change their code, so people who want to use GRDDL with HTML 5 features such as <video> stick to XML-wf-happy HTML 5 syntax and they use the head/@profile attribute anyway, despite what the HTML 5 spec says.
  • People who want to use GRDDL stick to XHTML 1.x.
  • People who want to put data in their HTML documents use RDFa.

I don’t particularly care for the rel=”profile” design, but one should choose ones battles and I’m not inclined to choose this one. I’m content for the market to choose.

2 thoughts on “The details of data in documents: GRDDL, profiles, and HTML5

  1. Hello, I found your article very useful, translation which I posted in my blog, with reference to the original sources, thank you a lot.
    I have a question for you, w3.org is very useful resource of information, and many comrades of mine very often rely on this information, but in most of them have language barrier, because there is no Russian version of the site, although many of my friends-developers in the Web space often ask help with the translation of some articles from your site so that’s the question, why it is no the Russian version of the project? And may be I could help you with this, because Russian-speaking people who don not know other languages is very much. What do you think about this?

    1. @Andre Volkov – Thanks for your comment and thanks for translating the article into Russian.

      The Consortium operates in English, that’s our official language. That being said, thanks to the W3C Translations, many resource are available in other languages.
         cf. http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Translation/

      There are several manners to search the Translations database for Russian translations that are already available.

      The W3C Translations program welcomes new volunteers anytime!
         cf. http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Translation/#volunteer.

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