W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-esw-thes@w3.org > November 2008

Re: RE : Lack of RDF/XML examples in new standards

From: Stephen Bounds <km@bounds.net.au>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 19:43:03 +1100
Message-ID: <491D3A17.9040506@bounds.net.au>
To: SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Hi Antoine,

No probs, I do understand the limitations of XML approaches to RDF.

The suggestions to add back some RDF/XML examples in an appendix, 
additional document, or wiki all sound like good compromises to me.

As an aside, I still think a robust intermediate processor for RDF/XML 
that abstracted away these differences (e.g. a "canonical" RDF/XML form) 
would be extremely valuable to the RDF community.  To be honest, I've 
never been sure exactly what advantages having RDF/XML in such a 
flexible format delivers...

Cheers,

-- Stephen.

Antoine Isaac wrote:
> Hi, (cced to the SWD list, as I think this thread can be of interest)
> 
> I don't like at all any approach that would let XML community think that 
> they can deal with RDF data (and especially ingest it) just using basic 
> XML tools. Unless you have very well designed your stylesheet I could 
> write dozens of RDF/XML syntactic variants of a same graph that would 
> put it on its knees (nested descriptions, attribute/value shortcuts for 
> literal objects, etc -- by the way that's not a personal attack , 
> Stephen, just that properly dealing with all these in a stylesheet is 
> hellish :-)
> 
> But I do agree that we could provide some RDF/XML example in our doc 
> (for the Primer at least) or next to it. But here I would welcome some 
> more concrete ideas to synchronize that with our Turtle examples. 
> Because one thing is clear: for beginners, Turtle example should be 
> provided, and should prevail.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Antoine
> 
> 
> -------- Message d'origine--------
> De: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org de la part de Stephen Bounds
> Date: mer. 12/11/2008 12:42
> : public-esw-thes@w3.org
> Cc: SKOS
> Objet : Re: Lack of RDF/XML examples in new standards
> 
> 
> Jakob & Norman,
> 
> I'm going to try and have my cake and eat it too, I'm afraid.
> 
> *Yes*, RDF/XML can be a very confusing syntax, particularly if you nest
> multiple levels of assertion deep, don't do predicate striping, etc etc.
> 
> But if you limit yourself to simple subject-predicate-object assertions,
> RDF/XML provides a syntax that is very familiar to XML authors with the
> added benefits of RDF semantics.
> 
> Not coincidentally, this is exactly what the SKOS examples showed.  A
> typical SKOS document looks like this:
> 
> <rdf:RDF>
>    <skos:Concept rdf:about="http://www.example.com/foo#bar">
>      <skos:prefLabel>bar</skos:prefLabel>
>      <skos:broader rdf:resource="http://www.example.com/foo#baz" />
>    </skos:Concept>
> 
>    <skos:Concept rdf:about="http://www.example.com/foo#baz">
>      ...
>    </skos:Concept>
> 
>    <skos:Concept rdf:about="http://www.example.com/foo#qux">
>      ...
>    </skos:Concept>
> </rdf:RDF>
> 
> which essentially boils down to a sequence of assertions that are either:
> 
>    Subject -> Predicate -> Literal, or
>    Subject -> Predicate -> Resource
> 
> This covers 99% of the needs of basic SKOS users, and this limited form
> of RDF/XML is both correct and easily understandable by non-RDF literati.
> 
> A personal example: I found SKOS RDF/XML to be a really useful
> intermediate language for capturing thesaurus-type relationships.  The
> initial XML was created using a Perl XML builder library from a CSV source.
> 
> I then transformed the data into static web pages using an XSL transform
> tool (Saxon), and as a dynamic web application through ingest and
> manipulation via an XML database platform (eXist).
> 
> I looked at RDF tools (Jena etc), but couldn't find anything that had
> close to the same maturity or ease of use of these XML tools.
> 
> Perhaps this was just my existing familiarity with XML rather than RDF,
> but that too is kind of my point.  The pool of XML developers is far
> larger than the pool of RDF developers.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> -- Stephen.
> 
> Jakob said:
>  > RDF/XML is one of the main reasons why adoption of RDF took so long.
>  > There are dozens of ways to encode the same graph in RDF/XML. Without a
>  > full specialized parser you are lost. RDF/XML might be more known and it
>  > *looks* more easy but it confuses more then it helps.
> 
> Norman Gray wrote:
>  > Good heavens!  I would _never_ show a beginner RDF/XML.  Do you really
>  > do this?
> 
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 14 November 2008 08:43:50 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 2 March 2016 13:32:10 UTC