W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > March 2010

Re: RDF Serializations

From: Paul Houle <ontology2@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2010 10:41:24 -0500
Message-ID: <3e12f6f41003120741tcbe8cd0la7d960319a697fe7@mail.gmail.com>
To: nathan@webr3.org
Cc: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 5:23 AM, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:

> What I'm gunning for in the end, is to only expose all linked data / rdf
> as static RDF+XML documents within my application - would this in any
> way make the data "less" linked because some clients don't support
> RDF+XML or could I take it for granted that everybody (for instance
> everybody on this list) could handle this serialization.
>      At some point you've got to put your foot down and stop supporting new
output formats.  If I invent one tomorrow,  that doesn't mean you have to
support it.

     There are three standards that I see in use:

(i) RDF/XML for relatively small triple sets (triples about a subject) that
are published in the typical "linked data" style that are not embedded in
other documents.  RDF/XML is particularly used for bnode-heavy applications
such as OWL schemas.
(ii) RDFa for embedding triples in other documents,  again,  in the "linked
data" context where any individual document contains just a small fraction
of the data in the system
(iii) Turtle-family serializations for large "whole system" dumps,  such as
the dbpedia dumps

     RDF/XML isn't my favorite serialization,  but it really does seem to be
the most widespread;  I think all linked data systems are going to support
it for input,  and ought to support it for output,  unless they are going
the "publish RDFa embedded in document" route.

     I think the software complexity argument against RDF/XML is weak these
days,  because we've had a decade to get good RDF/XML parsers.  if you're
working in some mainstream language,  it's just something you can download
and run.

     My more serious beef with RDF/XML is pedagogical:  it's not a good way
to teach people RDF because it's not immediately obvious to the beginner
where exactly the triples are.  RDF data modelling is actually incredibly
simple,  but you wouldn't know that if you started with RDF/XML.  Turtle,
however,  helps you understand RDF at a triple-by-triple level...  Once
you've gotten some experience with that,  RDF/XML makes a lot more sense.
Received on Friday, 12 March 2010 15:41:56 UTC

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