Semantic Web: W3C Publishes Working Draft of HTML + RDFa Spec

2 minute read
Dee-Ann LeBlanc avatar

The W3C (news, site) has been busy. They've released seven documents related to HTML, one of which is of interest to anyone working with HTML and another to anyone involved with the semantic web.


One of the documents released is HTML5 differences from HTML4. This resource is broken into sections according to feature type. Some examples include open issues which are still under debate within the mailing lists, as well as ways in which HTML5 will likely impact:

  • Web architecture
  • Web page syntax such as character encoding and DOCTYPEs
  • Character encoding
  • HTML itself such as new, changed and removed elements and attributes
  • APIs with new extensions added to HTMLDocument and HTMLElement

This document also offers changelogs listing the changes made in each of the HTML5 drafts.


The other document of interest is HTML+RDFa, which details the new working draft for embedding RDF into HTML. This update offers the following changes from the previous version:

Learning Opportunities

  • Updating the processor (Infoset) that transforms XML fragments to HTML5 (referred to as "coercion")
  • Clarifying how to extract RDFa attributes through Infoset
  • Clarifying how to extract RDFa attributes through DOM2

Note that within the Infoset documentation it states that this is the last call for comments, so if you're planning on looking at the transformation process and giving any input, now is the time.

Also, within the HTML+RDFa document a number of sections are identified which refer to open issues, or blocked progress before being able to declare a Last Call.

For more on RDFa, see our primer at RDFa, Drupal, and a Practical Semantic Web.