[ietf-calsify] Call for feedback on HTML5 spec on "predefined vocabularies"

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Mon Aug 10 05:21:07 PDT 2009


(cross-posted to IETF apps-discuss, plus vcarddav and calsify mailing lists)

the W3C HTML Working Group is currently preparing a new Working Draft 
for HTML5. This will be based on the current Editor's Draft at 

A significant change since the last Working Draft is the introduction of 
"microdata", a way to augment the markup with semantics, similar to and 
competing with RDFa and microformats in general (see 

As part of introducing microdata, the spec also defines several 
"predefined vocabularies". Some of them are based on IETF formats (and 
this is why I'm writing this particular email).

One of these vocabularies is "vcard" (see 
<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#vcard>). As far as I can 
tell, the HTML spec more or less duplicates information from RFC 2426, 
and while doing so also introduces specific compliance criteria. It does 
*not* refer to 
<http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-vcarddav-vcardrev-08>, so, as far 
as I can tell, it would hardwire the vocabulary to a soon-to-be-outdated 
version of the spec, and also removes the inherent extensibility model.

Another predefined vocabulary is "vevent" (see 
<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html#vevent>), to which similar 
observations apply.

I have talked to this to many W3C and IETF people, and as far as I can 
tell, almost all of them consider this to be a Bad Idea. In particular, 
it seems that the author has not even tried to co-ordinate with the two 
applicable IETF Working Groups (I just checked the mailing list 
archives, and couldn't find anything, but maybe I'm missing something).

I'm not sure whether the two working groups have considered this issue 
yet. I encourage to look at the spec now 
(<http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html>), or as soon as a new 
Working Draft is published.

In case the Calsify and/or Vcarddav Working Groups want to comment on 
this, I encourage the chairs to send feedback directly to the W3C HTML 
WG, so that the feedback gets the proper attention.

Best regards, Julian

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