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Re: objecting to $ alone (was Re: SPARQL 2004-10-12 syntax and grammar issues)

From: Kendall Clark <kendall@monkeyfist.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 09:10:08 -0500
To: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: kendall@monkeyfist.com, RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20041108141008.GA7054@monkeyfist.com>

On Mon, Nov 08, 2004 at 01:58:13PM +0000, Dave Beckett wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 08:19:05 -0500, Kendall Clark <kendall@monkeyfist.com> wrote:
> ...
> 
> > Just FYI, I'm pretty sure I would formally object if "$" alone is
> > chosen. Hate to say that, but I think it's a bad (even if relatively
> > small) mistake.
> 
> Why is it a mistake?  You don't give any reason in this email.

I have to keep repeating the reasons? I've given them in email
previously and at least one face to face.

To repeat:

1. RDQL (and others, IIRC) uses "?" and I take it to be just about the
   most well-known RDF query language, which suggests that more people
   are used to seeing variables prefixed with "?" than with other
   characters. Upsetting their apple carts seems a mistake, if it can
   be avoided.

2. "?" says, in my estimation, variable more than "$". (The
   "usability argument".)

3. I don't find the motivation for "$" to be in the least bit
   compelling, namely, I think it's bad form for us to design our
   language to avoid the brokenness of deployed software. Which is, as
   it turns out, a bunch of software I simply don't care about, use,
   or have users who use.

4. If "?" has to be avoided to make broken JDBC stuff work for some
   people, what do we tell people for whom "$" also causes problems?

By the way, if I weren't such a nice person, I'd take offense at yr
tasteless process wankery. I'm fully aware that *when or if I formally
object*, that I need to supply reasons. I have not formally objected,
and I have supplied these reasons, both in email and face-to-face, in
the past.

Kendall Clark
Received on Monday, 8 November 2004 14:11:40 GMT

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