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Schema.org — Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! Agree On Markup Vocabulary

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the executive-decision dept.

Google 192

aabelro writes "Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have decided to propose a common markup vocabulary, Schema.org, based on the Microdata format, simplifying the job of webmasters who want to give meaning to their web pages' content." Manu Sporny, chair of the W3C group that created RDFa, added his (personal) dissenting opinion about Schema, calling it a 'false choice,' and saying, "The entire Web community should decide which features should be supported – not just Microsoft or Google or Yahoo."

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All I'm hearing is... (0, Troll)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#36357834)

WAAAHHH!!!! The W3C didn't make up this standard!!! We're still debating what the dickens to define as HTML5!

No fair that the other children are running off with their ball to do their own thing...

Re:All I'm hearing is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358010)

indeed. they had a chance to do this right when defining rdf and xml (two concepts that should be complementary,
but are completely detatched), and they pretty much failed to deliver anything that qualified as 'sematic web', not that
xml hasn't found plenty of other uses.

skimming the proposals, they both seem less than ideal for both authors and analyzers, but basically
the same. who can really fault an industry group for floating a standard without wanting to get stuck
in a decade of w3c limbo?

Re:All I'm hearing is... (3, Interesting)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358754)

It doesn't matter what standard they float. It will be dumped in less than five years anyway for the next big gimmick.. I remember a time when real standards would last 50 years or more. You know.. like film, phones, roads, electricity, NTSC, PAL, ohm's law, arithmetic, spelling of words, money...

Re:All I'm hearing is... (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358024)

For those out of the loop: this is funnier when you are aware of a certain alarmingly long schedule [techrepublic.com] proposed by Ian Hickson, which would not see HTML 5 completely finished until 2020 or 2022 depending on your definition.

Incidentally, this problem is similar to why the Athenians abandoned democracy [wikipedia.org] (lack of rapid response) and has been presented as an explanation for why Lisp isn't as popular as it once was [winestockwebdesign.com] (endless disagreements about how to do things.)

The really remarkable part, though, is that they're making any progress at all with HTML5, so some kudos is in order.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358228)

ooo, snide Perl 6 remark would go here if I were immature

Re:All I'm hearing is... (4, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358336)

ooo, snide Perl 6 remark would go here if I were immature

Perl, wasn't that an early pre-release beta of Python...?

  "Three signs shall there be before the end: the duke of atoms shall walk forever, the sixth pearl be released, and the freeman lift his crowbar thrice..."

Re:All I'm hearing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359524)

There be a fourth sign: and the Hurd shall run Free across the land...

Not so remarkable.. (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358258)

The really remarkable part, though, is that they're making any progress at all with HTML5, so some kudos is in order.

Not really all that remarkable. The main progress comes from the whole WhatWG efforts which in turn is basically the major browser makers saying "Screw you moving-like-molasses people and your incompatible XHTML 2.0, we'll just do things the way we agree to do them and everybody else can follow along or stay behind."

Same story here, except now it's not the major browser makers, but the major search engine companies - who want to be able to more easily index information. Why wait for what webmasters and users want, when your search engine(s) pretty much control the market and the webmaster really has little choice but to either follow along or stay behind?

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as they all get along and the things introduced aren't wonderful in principle but a nightmare in practice (frames, anyone?)

Note that the system used is very much in line with HTML5 veering well away from the XHTML 2.0 changes, in that rather than introducing new elements that a browser or other parser could easily choke on, it introduces new properties which are easily ignored.

Better yet it's based on HTML5 (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358956)

A big part of his complaint is that RDFa scales better than Microdata which is what Schema.org uses, so both should be supported. Microdata is part of HTML5, and is an extension of Microforms, created exactly because RDFa is considered too complex.

This is exactly a case of WhatWG producing workable standards and W3C creating design by committee monstrosities.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358822)

Note: poster takes one sentence from the wikipedia summary, and infers that the article cited supports her (?) claim. In fact, the sentence referred to reads: "One downside was that the new democracy was less capable of rapid response." The downside is not mentioned again in the lengthy section. Many other criticisms of Athenian democracy are discussed at much greater length (including its extreme severity, its overreaching its own laws, and its conviction of Socrates) than the one she (?) chooses to highlight.

In conclusion, "lack of rapid response" was not "why the Athenians abandoned democracy", as the poster blithely asserts; the source cited provides no supporting evidence for the claim.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358954)

I apologise; it appears that I conflated some details of the Four Hundred with the democracy that it interrupted.

You could have been more polite about it, though.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359966)

Polite? This is Slashdot. But to be fair, being polite rarely gets anything other than passed over here.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359266)

well, i think its a bit far afield, but thanks about the article about lisp. i still believe that its an historical accident rather
than something fundamental about expressive language frameworks, but alot of points rang true.

here, there is just a syntactic requirement to express relational data inline, or less, just tags. they aren't event discussing any
overreaching semantic system where such declarations might be said to have some meaning.

here is the antipode to lisp, billion dollar multi-year arguments about whether we should say or

Re:All I'm hearing is... (0)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358402)

WAAAHHH!!!! The W3C didn't make up this standard!!! We're still debating what the dickens to define as HTML5! No fair that the other children are running off with their ball to do their own thing...

Not only that but he seems to ignore the fact that it's a proposed vocabulary and the entire web community can and will be the ones to decide if it is to be used or not.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359990)

You mean... the entire web community "can" or "will" be the ones to decide whether they will cooperate with the source of most, if not almost all, of their traffic? And what happens when Google, Microsoft and Yahoo agree to index the syntax they agreed to propose? That's a lot of weight to be pitted against. Even more weight than that (frankly, Apple and Adobe) which undermined the "web community" by choosing h.264 over any free alternative. Don't mistake the fact that there's a "standards process" with "public comment" for anything resembling the will of the people who have to actually consume this stuff.

And don't get me wrong; most of HTML5 is a welcome departure from the W3C direction, despite being dictated by a handful of huge corporations. It's just silly to pretend that that departure came from anything other than a handful of huge corporations.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358496)

It does seem true to me that in general, if someone says "Wait, not enough people participated in making that decision!!!" they
-don't actually care about the number of people making the decision so much as they care that they were not ONE of that number
-are more interested in trying to sound smart than doing anything.
or
-are opposed for some reason to the outcome of the decision but don't have any really convincing arguments to make against it

"The entire Web community should decide which features should be supported." Yeah, uh, the internet troll association just called. The features they want are whatever features no one else wants, and the features they're opposed to are any features that anyone else wants. Also they have some pictures from the .cx domain they want to submit for your consideration.

We also made a suggestion box for features to be supported, but they're all "FRIST SUGGESTION POST!!!1!!!!" for some reason.

Oh, and since we're consulting the whole community, the RIAA, MPAA, and Sony have several boxes of suggestions for features, but you can't look at them, they're mega-super-duper secret. I've just been sued for even mentioning the suggestions' existences.

Re:All I'm hearing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359830)

Isn't part of the problem of coming up with a standard via the W3C involve members of the W3C like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, and others not agreeing on things and holding up the release of said standard? And standards being butchered by trying to satisfy too many members wants. Like too many cooks spoiling the broth?

Not to worry... (5, Funny)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36357836)

Microsoft will break this one, too.

Re:Not to worry... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358046)

The proposal is itself breaking html. This time, Google and Yahoo are in with the "extending". The vague promise of better search positions will drive web developers to completely muck up their html output. There is no reason not to re-use the Dublin Core [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358576)

It's not broken, it's "html 5".

Re:Not to worry... (3, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358762)

The latter implies the former. I say go right back to XHTML 1.0 Strict (the last standard that didn't have a broken DTD) and concentrate on finally getting all the browsers to better implement SGML [w3.org] . For example, all of the itemprop, itemscope, and itemtype crap [schema.org] could be done better with processing instructions [wikipedia.org] (say, pop an <?itemscope ?> tag thing and poof, done), without fucking up the markup. schema.org is trying (among other things, I guess) to help search engines better understand the page,* and PIs were made to tell applications how to process data, so it's a matter of getting them to play The Dating Game and meet.

Stop making HTML harder to validate and process, and start making browsers better conform--and developers more completely use--the many existing features in it and its underlying SGML or XML. That's Allstat^Wgame kid's stand.

*"However, the HTML tag doesn't give any information about what that text string means—"Avatar" could refer to the a hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user."

Re:Not to worry... (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359230)

HTML 5 is a shining beacon of brilliance compared to some recent "standards" out there... Medica[re|id]'s "Meaningful Use" currently has me considering a lucrative career as an Amway salesman...

Re:Not to worry... (2)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358654)

So they're breaking HTML by following the HTML5 specification [w3.org] ?

Re:Not to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358788)

A "Controversial Working Draft" is not a specification!

Re:Not to worry... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358830)

Microdata is not part of the HTML5 specification. Right at the top of your linked document it says:

Status: Controversial Working Draft. ISSUE-76 (Microdata/RDFa) blocks progress to Last Call

and then if you click on the issue link, you see:

There will be a forthcoming HTML5+RDFa proposal that may either be published along-side the Microdata specification or in place of the Microdata specification. RDFa is a alternate technology that is currently published as a Recommendation via the W3C . An additional alternative that is being proposed is the removal of Microdata and RDFa from the HTML5 specification and the placement of each section into a separate specification that is implemented on top of the HTML5 standard.

In addition, the charter for the HTML WG mentions:

"The HTML WG is encouraged to provide a mechanism to permit independently developed vocabularies such as Internationalization Tag Set (ITS), Ruby, and RDFa to be mixed into HTML documents. Whether this occurs through the extensibility mechanism of XML, whether it is also allowed in the classic HTML serialization, and whether it uses the DTD and Schema modularization techniques, is for the HTML WG to determine."

The current microdata section precludes this Charter requirement.

Re:Not to worry... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359496)

HTML5 itself started off with WhatWG documenting the "breaking" browser specific extensions to HTML by various browsers... XmlHttpRequest is based on a non-standard MS active-x control. All of HTML itself is a series of non-compliant extensions later ratified... at least this time there are three disparate third parties behind it. If google, ms and yahoo are for it, it's probably not a bad thing... besides they've already been using this metadata for a while. though I think meta-* attributes to counterpart data-* attributes may be better... I usually only need/use one data attribute (populated with json) when needed

Re:Not to worry... (-1, Troll)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358544)

eet is teh false langwage of teh false gohd! eet ees ebil! ebil Onle teh scroscanct and whycensed ghod appruved by the preests of teh all wholly mycroft shal be acknowledged!

Ok it was in all caps now it's not, happy you shit eating grammar gnazis?

Re:Not to worry... (0)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358684)

Ahhh Slashdot, where bashing Microsoft for no good reason is always a good way to get modded up.

Or shall I rephrase that...[citation needed]?

Re:Not to worry... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359554)

Ahhh Slashdot, where bashing Microsoft for no good reason is always a good way to get modded up.

It's not that we have no reason to do so; it's that there are so many that we get tired of reciting them. 8^)

This time, the development is newsworthy because we also get to beat up on Google and Yahoo! at the same time. The reasons may be found in the article, which, despite its angry, polemical tone, is pretty much on the money.

Google, Microsoft et alia are basically saying, 'Speak my language on the web - win a prize!' That's all well and good, right up until you want to encapsulate your data in such a way that it expresses something they don't recognise, or don't support, or don't like. Obvious examples would be erotica and various alternative or subversive artistic media, political expression and fringe culture[*].

RDFa is capable of performing exactly the same tasks as microdata, but it's open and extensible. This means that communities/cultures would be able to derive their own semantic ontologies using the same grammar and structure as the big guys, making it easier for groups big and small to make use of the data.

---------------
[*] This potentially includes entire nations (such as the tiny South Pacific country I live in).

To get ahead, disregard this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36357848)

Like always happens with standardization efforts, the only way to make your offering unique from the competitors' is to add custom functionality not found within said standard.

Just Like HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36357850)

Maybe the W3C can come up with another form of HTML.

They seem to enjoy coming up with poorly thought out half-standards that invite browser incompatability.

They can top it off by excluding obviously necessary features, inviting companies to come up with various incompatible implementations of basic functionality, like flash movie and music players.

not just Microsoft or Google or Yahoo. (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36357856)

Right. You've got to include Facebook.

Re:not just Microsoft or Google or Yahoo. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36357944)

Well both Yahoo and Facebook have large M$ influence$. So really this is Microsoft and pals plus Google. It was Google plus Apple but that kind of fell through.

$ from Microsoft or Google or Yahoo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358908)

I wish that I had bought the domain name :/

How is this different than the MetaData tag? (5, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36357976)

One of the reasons why Google was able to tromp AltaVista was that AltaVista's search was based completley on the MetaData tag of the html page, and Google ignored the MetaData tag. The reason why? Website administrator were putting false information into the MetaData tag in hopes of generating more web crawler search hits. Google decided to go off of what was actually being presetned on the page, and we all found that to be more useful.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358096)

I guess it remains to be seen whether content sites will actually implement this, or whether it'll just be another tool in the black-hat SEO bag. I can see how this may be useful on, say, Wikipedia, which is content-dense and could be rapidly renovated; however, I kind of get the feeling that Wikipedia doesn't really need the help getting to the top of Google's results list.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358166)

I don't know about this specific format, but for example e-commerce companies have been annotating their pages with semantic tags. Best Buy, for example, has annotated a huge amount of data with the Good Relations ontology.

And I don't really see how could this be abused, except for the boost that Google gives to any semantically tagged pages - but that effect should wear off as most sites implement them too.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (3, Informative)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358108)

"More is better, except for hidden text" - I think this is the key difference between this and meta tags - the emphasis is on adding markup to text/content you provide to the user, in a way that makes it more quantifiable to search engines. Metatags weren't visable to the end user, and didn't particular concern specific content, but rather pages as a whole. I mean, that isn't to say that this system won't be scammed, but it does at least have a different focus of providing context for extant data, not additional data from which to help create a context.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358114)

This isn't meant to replace the page's content, just to annotate it (point out the semantic structure). So that the page consumer can understand that "6/10" means a rating or that "John Smith" is a person's name.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

RackNine (1955398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358116)

Agreed, Google also happily ignores meta keywords and of late even meta descriptions, focusing purely on the available content, so how is this going to be different is beyond me

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358180)

Meta keywords and descriptions are used to replace content, which can be abused. This is used to annotate content, not replace it. It simply let's you say what the content is supposed to represent (a recipe, or a rating, or a person, etc).

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (2)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358674)

Thats exactly what i was thinking. It just makes more sense that search results should be based off of what is actually on the page, not what the developer whats you to think is on the page. Another problem I have are things like this (taken from the documentation on schema.org)

<time itemprop="startDate" datetime="2011-05-08T19:30">May 8, 7:30pm</time>

Is that really necessary? Is it that hard to parse that string into a valid timestamp? The only reason I can think of would be if someone wanted to use some kinda of weird way to represent a date, and if thats the case then fooey on them for displaying a date in a way a human probably couldn't read anyways.

do not want!

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358742)

They give the explanation of the date thing right on the Getting Started page that introduces it: it's because date representations can be ambiguous. For example, if you saw "11/4/2011", could you definitively say whether it was Nov 4th or April 11th? Sure it's not hard for a machine to parse but it may hard to interpret.

It's basically decoupling the date data itself (given in the rigidly-specified format) from the display of that date (given in whatever format the author fancies).

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358916)

Yes, but thats exactly my point. A user of the site isn't going to be sure what that date is either, there are context clues elsewhere in the content. But then it's reasonable to assume that an algorithm could be written to find that same association.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359244)

How would the search engine know the difference between the date the article was written and a date referred to in the article?
Also, are these two dates the same:
01/12/10
12/01/10
They could both be the 1st of dec 2010 or the 12th of jan, depending on the locale.
What timezone is 7:30pm in too?
Is whats displayed in the web servers locale, has it used the http request headers to find out the clients locale or has it stored a preference in a cookie/etc?
Parsing human readable dates and times is fraught with errors.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359556)

In Phoenix ... <time datetime="2011-05-18T02:00:00Z">Next Friday at 7PM</time>

Might be a better example... also, it allows for a easier client-side reformatting in JS.

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359688)

What I would like to see would be a way to differentiate between the publication date and a date talked about on the site (didn't read the schema.org docs so that may be in there).

Re:How is this different than the MetaData tag? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359110)

Website administrator were putting false information into the MetaData tag in hopes of generating more web crawler search hits. Google decided to go off of what was actually being presetned on the page, and we all found that to be more useful.

Yes, we found that to be more useful - until website administrators learned to put false information into what is actually being presented on the page.

Hey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358032)

I'm actually ok with google deciding things. they have motives OTHER than profit sometimes. And generally do an ok job of things.

microsoft on the other hand... hahahahahahahahahahaha.. they don't get to decide shit. we tried that before. they fuckup everything they touch.
and yahoo? do they even exist anymore? why? are we supposed to still pretend that yahoo is relevant? They're not.

Re:Hey... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358580)

I find it funny that yahoo even attended. They are no longer anything more than a front-end to byng with msn-style news (read: ignored) and an e-mail service that is quickly dying just as quickly.

Re:Hey... (2)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358634)

I'm actually ok with google deciding things.

I'm not. Don't trust any company any further than you can throw them. Google has already walked pretty far down the path of corporate evil.

And what does Mozilla think of this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358094)

It really is of no use if the person browsing the site doesn't use it. Seems like browser developers should be an important part of this equation. Google = Chrome, MS = IE....so where does Mozilla stand?

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358222)

It really is of no use if the person browsing the site doesn't use it.

Nope, it's useful even if you're browsing with IE6, since search engines and other aggregators can use it to improve their services. Try searching for something like "baked spagetthi recipe" on Google.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358824)

Don't get your point. I just got hundreds of baked spaghetti recipes.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358274)

No one gives a fuck. Mozilla is so 2007. They're now living off their name but that will change soon.
 
You Firefox fanbois just amaze me with how willing you are to give Firefox a blowjob at the drop of a hat.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358334)

Firefox has their moments but right now they are 1) The fastest rendering browser on the market. 2) The most versatile browser, meaning it is available on just about all platforms you can think of. 3) For the most part when you develop for firefox it also works with chrome, opera, and in most cases safari. 4) It has amazing web developer tools unlike IE's dev tools or Chrome's. 5) It is currently the most secure browser.

This does change from time to time and Firefox 3.x was a disaster. I will admit that pluginscontainer.exe is the worst part about firefox and most of the problems with the browser is java, just disable it (not to confuse it with javascript). I go from FF to Chrome back and forth and Opera is just a mess. IE doesn't like to make up its mind but like all other browsers I'm forced to use it as a seasoned web developer =/

I won't ever give FF a bj, I'll leave that to the furry community.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358620)

1) The fastest rendering browser on the market.

Only if you ignore Opera, Chrome, Safari, and IE 9.

2) The most versatile browser, meaning it is available on just about all platforms you can think of.

Only if you ignore Opera.

3) For the most part when you develop for firefox it also works with chrome, opera, and in most cases safari.

This also happens if you initially develop for one of Chrome, Safari, or Opera.

4) It has amazing web developer tools unlike IE's dev tools or Chrome's.

Have you ever used the built-in developer tools of Chrome and Safari? Unlike Firebug, they don't lock up the browser, they aren't horribly slow, and they offer much more useful functionality.

5) It is currently the most secure browser.

Only if you ignore Chrome, Opera and Safari.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359590)

To quote the GP, your comment is "so 200[8]." It completely ignores the last 2.5 years in non-FF browser advancements. "More secure" was LOL-worthy; even IE8/9 is inherently safer nowadays (ignoring plugins and non-Windows platforms).

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (-1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358502)

Chrome wants you to stop talking so it can put it's dick back in your mouth.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358526)

"its".

If you're going to insult, please do it properly.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358304)

Seems like browser developers should be an important part of this equation.

While I'm sure browser makers have tons of talented and knowledgeable people when it comes to HTML, this topic isn't really in their court. Looking over some examples, it appears they're just doing a little more than what Microformats started. They're creating HTML elements without actually creating HTML elements by adding new element attributes to existing HTML elements. Depending on how you look at HTML you should be able to put any attribute on an element without breaking it. Unknown attributes should be ignored by browsers, but it can allow Search Engines to parse the page in a more knowledgeable way.

You might run into W3C validation errors or warnings if you try to run their validator, but, like I said, that depends on how you really view HTML, if that matters or not.

Re:And what does Mozilla think of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358992)

It really has nothing to do with the browser. Browsers ignore atributes in a HTML tag they don't understand. It is really just between the web developer and the search engine.

Well.. (1)

Smirker (695167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358098)

I, for one, welcome our new mark-up vocabulary overlords.

We managed to get 3 large corporations to agree? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358170)

Microsoft or Google or Yahoo oh my!

Dammit (5, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358184)

I am a whore and have to do whatever the big guys say, because I want their traffic. Ok, so I admit it.

But dammit, did it have to be microdata? I already mark up with microformat classes and RDFa (both the sortof standardized namespaces and Google's) and Google was handling it pretty well, and every once in a while it looked like Yahoo grokked it too. Microdata was the ugly stepchild third choice, the least well-supported one, with the fewest number of parsers out there in the wild.. So I left that one out, because nobody cared. Now it's going to be The One?

I have better things to do than add Yet Another fucking attribute to my generated HTML which is already bloated with otherwise unnecessary classes and properties and typeofs. Now I'm going to have itemscope and itemtype attributes too, huh? Just how many characters long can we make each element become, just so that everything can make sense of it? Fuck you guys. No seriously, fuck you. Yes, I'm going to do it anyway, but even so, fuck you.

Re:Dammit (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358240)

I was really expecting for RDFa to win the competition, it had already a decent user base and it's much more flexible and useful.

Re:Dammit (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358542)

That there is what you call a "compromise candidate" - the one everyone objects to the least. Surprising though that Google, Microsoft & Yahoo got together on something like this outside the context of an industry group like W3C.

As to your better things to do, go ahead and do them - I assume you're a working web developer, so this really can be viewed as a revenue-generating opportunity. Think of it as a chance to tack an extra "SEO structuring" charge on top. If you're not doing them, I know I will!

Re:Dammit (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358868)

Do you really have better things to do?

Re:Dammit (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359196)

Ouch! Damn, that's cold.

Re:Dammit (1)

Kernel Krumpit (1912708) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359532)

Fuck you guys. No seriously, fuck you. Yes, I'm going to do it anyway, but even so, fuck you.

That's the correct attitude - except for the "i'm going to do it anyway" part!

1).. Why on earth would you work on putting anyone else's but your own webpages at the top of serps?
2).. Fuck the suits and ties. Fuck 'em!
3).. If you can do it for a playcheque then you can do it better for yourself. Have courage!
4).. DON'T give the big search engine boy's what they want - they'll screw you over next year.
5).. take the long term approach. As an example search for "best selling laptops 2011" and tell me who i am.

Fuck Google, Fuck Bing. We have the power - Use IT!

Re:Dammit (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359808)

I'm ignoring everything except RDFa on my site. I took the decision of dropping the HTML5 markup for HTML+RDFa and getting the pages validating properly (still using CSS3, though).

It would be great if Google had support for DOAP (Definition of a Project) for open source projects and read that through RDFa.

Apple does it their way again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358238)

So why's Apple not part of this?
Bet they decided to go their own way, play solo as usual...

The bad Apples get kicked out of the barrel anyway! (LOL Haha!! I can't believe I came up with this!)

Re:Apple does it their way again (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358484)

Because they're not a search engine?

Re:Apple does it their way again (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359516)

Apple does not need a search engine, all information is pre approved for your consumption =)

Re:Apple does it their way again (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358630)

Since when is Apple a search engine?

Be careful with Microsoft (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358318)

I say 'be careful with Microsoft' because if my memory serves me well, Microsoft had some agreement with now defunct SUN Microsystems over Java and its use...that was until SUN realized that Microsoft had a hidden agenda [internetnews.com] .

Nothing will prevent Microsoft from attempting to pull off what I will call a 'SUN moment.'

Re:Be careful with Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358564)

Nothing will prevent Microsoft from attempting to pull off what I will call a 'SUN moment.'

Nothing... really...??? The fact that Microsoft has already been indicted for this behavior and is pretty much still on probation is a pretty good incentive. Oh, lets also not forget that it is Google with the monopoly on internet searches. Microsoft is not in the power position that it had with Sun.

It'll work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358322)

I'm sure the W3C format was useful in every way except the one that counted.

If Google, Yahoo, and MS can agree on a format, it means it was a moneymaker.

Wow this is just bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358462)

First and foremost, the problem with any such standard is its limited scope and dated features. For example, a breadcrumb may not be around in 1 year or 3 years because its use is not longer desirable or needed or better more efficient navigation models are created. So the spec, by default (just like HTML 5) is technically obsolete before it is ever even ratified.

Second, holy micro management batman. Sure it will help search engines in theory. In reality I can use it to mold search results to an even greater degree. It just makes the nonsense that already is SEO even worse. Reviews get higher weight (as an example), so my blog now becomes full of "reviews" though they are really just rants. Or "offers" or anything else I can claim my content to be. Plus inlining the schemas is just plain annoying. And will any of this pass markup validation? To me this is just lazy by the search engines. Their results have been getting worse because they rely too much on social BS. Now you are going to rely on me telling you the truth? Fat chance of that if I can game the system for higher rankings. It is as bad as relying on what people voted to provide relevant results. It will not change the fact that searching for terms will have a blog that links to a blog that links to a blog that links to facebook that links to twitter that links to the actual article. But hey, that is not important right, let's add annotations and long more useless markup. Yay progress.

Maybe just maybe if we killed HTML dead like it truly deserves and create a useful markup language from the ground up we can get useful results. Maybe if you allow and account for unique features on a browser by browser basis and have graceful degradation built into the browsers themselves. But you know that will never happen. So let's add more markup, semantics, annotations, and why not bibliographies?

Re:Wow this is just bad (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358538)

Creating new versions of HTML has increasingly become the proverbial lipstick on the proverbial pig. But now they've made browsers into application platform and all the horrors and inadequacies are being magnified.

they didnt say OR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358476)

Microsoft AND Google AND Yahoo.

It's a Trap! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358534)

FTTOS: [schema.org]

Terms of service

This is a contract between you and each of the sponsors of Schema.org: Google, Inc., Yahoo, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation (referred to collectively in this agreement as the "Sponsors", "we" or "us"). By using the Schema.org website (the "Website") you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service").

Changes in Website and Terms and Conditions; Change in Schema

We may modify or terminate the Website, for any reason, and without notice. We also reserve the right to modify these Terms of Service from time to time without notice, and you expressly agree to be bound by such modifications when posted on the Website.

This legalese basically says: By using the schema.org website, (esp. their schemas) you agree to whatever we want forever. THE END.

Even Facebook's horrid TOS agreement is better for you than this, at least you can terminate Facebook's agreement.

I for one rebel against our Gigantic Corporate Lawyer-wielding privacy-and-competition-hating overlords. If I can't get past the TOS page, I'll just stick to RDFa. Just added "0.0.0.0 schema.org" to my hosts file just in case I get link-baited into agreeing to that evil evil evil TOS.

Re:It's a Trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358700)

You got so outraged that you apparently missed the next sentence: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Sponsors agree that no change that we make to these Terms of Service will terminate or modify the license granted under paragraph 1 above with respect to any use or implementation of the Schema occurring prior to the date that the change is published.

Re:It's a Trap! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359352)

You got so outraged that you apparently missed the next sentence: Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Sponsors agree that no change that we make to these Terms of Service will terminate or modify the license granted under paragraph 1 above with respect to any use or implementation of the Schema occurring prior to the date that the change is published.

No, I understood it perfectly to make no sense. Here, big words are used to confuse you... Let me translate: notwithstanding: in spite of. Irregardless
foregoing: What we said prior to this point.
paragraph 1: The first paragraph "This is a contract ... you agree to be bound [by the TOS]."

Irregardless of [Us granting you CC copyright license, and possibly terminating your right to use the schema if we don't agree on a patent license (that we are allowed to assert and charge for) ] we agree that no future changes will nullify any of the rights granted to you in [ the contract between us that you currently agree to ] so long as your use or implementation happened before the changes we plan to make. Also, this means our future changes can screw you over if you keep using our schemas, but don't agree with our license or agree to pay/comply with our patent royalties.

In short: You must agree to everything forever, and we reserve the right to sue you over patents even though we slapped a big happy "Copy Left" license on the deal to make dolts like you feel warm and fuzzy.

Re:It's a Trap! (4, Interesting)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358736)

You're right, it is a trap, but it gets worse:

The short summary: The "Sponsors" (read: cartel) may have patents on this crap. You can, for now, use the crap royalty free for markup only if you follow the standard. Non-cartel search engines are not granted such rights. In addition, future versions may not be royalty free. Your existing markup is safe, but any new versions or pages won't be.

The actual fine print:

In addition, if the Sponsors have patent claims that are necessarily infringed by including markup of structured data in a webpage, where the markup is based on and strictly complies with the Schema, they grant an option to receive a license under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms without royalty, solely for the purpose of including markup of structured data in a webpage, where the markup is based on and strictly complies with the Schema. [..] Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Sponsors agree that no change that we make to these Terms of Service will terminate or modify the license granted under paragraph 1 above with respect to any use or implementation of the Schema occurring prior to the date that the change is published.

Re:It's a Trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359046)

Far too many terms of services require you to give up a limb and your first-born child for this to mean much. Common examples are the "no suing us, whatsoever!" and "we get all your future work" licenses. Sure, there have been a few cases where the latter has been enforced against the best interests of a site's users, but when it comes down in the end, for every thousand times you see a vague, overly-broad disclaimer, it's just meant to prevent ambiguities when litigating.

And of course, consider that Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to an extent are still competitors. They're not going to go cartel on all new search engines, and notice the "if" at the beginning of the clause.

Less of the Chicken Little sky is falling, please!

Finally... (1)

georgeMandis (1128953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358552)

At least now we'll have a consistent way of marking up dry cleaning [schema.org] and volcanoes [schema.org] .

"webmasters" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36358666)

Is this term actually still being used?

microsoft (0)

patrickluwi (2209956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358906)

i'm sure microsoft will do! KVM Switch [gigantika.co.id]

The entire Web community should decide? (1)

Memroid (898199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36358990)

Brilliant idea, then quality decisions will be made, just like in our political system.

Fascist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359364)

sounds like a Fascist to me

Why? (1)

pankajmay (1559865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359066)

Can someone explain to me why there is a need for a separate metadata vocabulary?
Wasn't this the issue that XML, XSD, XSLT and XSLT-FO supposed to address? Document verbiage aside, don't these families adequately cover the issue of structure, and semantics?
If the issue is to teach the browser/search engine, the document semantics -- can't they (MS,Yahoo,Google) actually parse XML for common dictionary words and build semantics themselves? Why make humans do all the tedious annotations? They can probably publish standard XSD for people to structure XMLs... no?

Re:Why? (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359800)

XML, XSD, XSLT and XSLT-FO

Which of those have anything to do with semantics?

volume is the only standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359210)

no matter what standards group or collection of companies agree on any given standard. volume wins in the end.

I get sex if I clean the dishes (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359420)

I hate to say this but when you have Bing, Google, and Yahoo saying that if I clean the dishes, use microdata, I can get laid in a search engine sense, I'm sorry the dishes will be cleaned. I don't know if this is live but let's be honest, they have us by our proverbial search engine balls. The days of free and fair elections, I mean fair SEO are as dead as Rep. Weiner's political career. Do you realize that he never had sex with any of those women. I'm not sure about you but if I'm going to ruin my career and my marriage, I'm going to at the very least factor the equation, define PI until I pass out, prove that (a)ss + (b)reasts = c

Couldn't get the superscripts to work.

Re:I get sex if I clean the dishes (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359434)

My wife said I couldn't use the c work.

Re:I get sex if I clean the dishes (1)

wdhowellsr (530924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359444)

This is why I shouldn't post at 12:43 am. My wife said I couldn't us the c word. Although I think it is fair to say the c word does require a good deal of work.

Re:I get sex if I clean the dishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359782)

Pff, clearly you need to show this to your wife (courtesy of The Oatmeal): The Terrible C-Word [theoatmeal.com] =)

Re:I get sex if I clean the dishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36359812)

... said I couldn't us the c word. ...

So... 12:44 am doesn't seem to be a much better time for you?

No cigar, the answer you're looking for was... (2)

jim_kaiser (1696460) | more than 3 years ago | (#36359768)

Semantic Web....

I hope the companies would just put their efforts in creating a semantic web, instead of trying to hack-patch html by adding random meta-data for the purpose of search. Seriously.. focus people!

Focus!

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