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general stuff about rdf:text / rdf:PlainLiteral / ...

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 12:37:18 -0400
To: "Peter F.Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
cc: public-owl-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <17177.1243096638@ubehebe>

> I have no trouble with this proposed name (or with just about any name
> in the RDF or OWL namespaces).  I don't think that it is a significant
> improvement, however.  A better improvement would be to just relabel the
> datatype from being for "Internationalized Strings" to being for
> "strings with language tags".

Yes, I think it's clear the current title was naively chosen, and a new
one is needed.  I think that issue can continue to be discussed just on

> However, and this is a very big caveat, I really don't want the design
> of RDF changed in response to this new datatype, as has been proposed.
> If having the datatype in the rdf namespace requires a design change,
> then I think that it would be much better to just have an OWL datatype
> for this purpose.

I think you're referring to Pat's proposal, and that's not how I
understood it, but I'd agree there was considerable ambiguity.  I don't
think many people would support any kind of changing what RDF is, in
this effort.  rdf:text should just be a kind of optional tool; not a
change to RDF itself.

> I'm even becoming very worried about the requirement to avoid literals
> with this datatype in RDF graphs.  So far, I'm willing to go along with
> this, but the continued changes to this aspect of the proposal are
> troubling to me.  In particular, the rationale for the prohibition is
> completely bogus.

The rational I find convincing is that its hurts interoperation.  If
people start to use rdf:text in RDF graphs, then all the existing
software won't see their data.  That's something we should at least
point out, warning people who might consider using rdf:text in their

But more than that, I think we have a duty to speak about whether old
RDF software is then "broken" and should be modified to support
rdf:text.  For myself, I could go either way on this, but I understand
providers of RDF systems do not want this.  It seems to me they have the
stronger rights here, so I agree the spec should give some fairly strong
mandate about rdf:text literals not occuring in RDF graphs.  To my
understanding, this issue was decided before Last Call, as a MUST, and I
haven't seen evidence we should re-open the matter.  (It was not an
issue that was discussed at length within the OWL-WG, so the bar to
re-opening it would be fairly low, but still, we agreed to publish as
Last Call a draft that says "...before exchanging an RDF graph with
other RDF tools, an RDF tool that suports rdf:text MUST replace in the
graph each typed rdf:text literal with the corresponding plain

     -- Sandro
Received on Saturday, 23 May 2009 16:37:27 UTC

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