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analysis of Sperberg-McQueen LC comment re: Ruby test/ BIDI insufficiency

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 13:36:04 -0400
Message-ID: <29af5e2d0905061036n2b326a5fp3b781a5fd08ba288@mail.gmail.com>
To: W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
Response to Sperberg-McQueen

(5) Internationalization issues

 From the fact that rdf:text values are pairs of UCS strings and
language tags, I infer that the type is intended to handle
natural-language text.

But if I understand correctly, some authorities strongly
recommend the use of explicit XML markup both for bidirectional
text (which, n.b., is not necessarily polyglot text) and for text
with ruby-style annotations.

I assume that one reason you don't allow internal XML markup is
that that would break compatibility with plain literals.

I think your document would be the stronger if you explained what
is to be done with Japanese text with ruby annotations, or with
Hebrew or Arabic text for which the Unicode bidi algorithm does
not suffice (and which therefore appears to need internal XML
markup to be handled reliably).


Analysis:

Ruby text. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_character

Ruby text are alternative glyphs for portions of a string. Given an
rdf:string, there may be some subsequences that are mapped to
alternative rdf:texts. We would recommend that, from an OWL
perspective, such relations are explicitly modeled using relationships
as we consider such associational/layout material to be outside the
scope of rdf:text, which is meant to represent linear text.

Unicode Bidi algorithm override. Reference:
http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/dirlang.html#h-8.2.4

In this case the issue is presentation order when the author chooses
to write an internationalize string in an order at variance with that
specified by unicode.

Since unicode allows *a* correct representation (with presentational
aspects) of such strings, rdf:text is adequate to represent such
strings. Supporting alternative orderings of the same utterance, and
in particular, including xml markup in such strings is beyond the
scope of rdf:text.

Speaking more generally there are two approaches to representing xml
content in OWL. The first is to use the datatype XMLLiteral. In the
cases above, one might relate the rdf:text string to such an
XMLLiteral in order to provide auxiliary presentation information.
The second approach would be to model the XML relationships explicitly
in OWL, perhaps using GRDDL as a way to transform the XML to OWL.
Received on Wednesday, 6 May 2009 17:37:08 UTC

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