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Re: rq25 (1.18) review (part I)

From: Kendall Clark <kendall@monkeyfist.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 16:04:54 -0500
Message-Id: <464EA89F-BE7F-4F13-8E69-7B5A68CC7F71@monkeyfist.com>
Cc: dawg mailing list <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
To: "Seaborne, Andy" <andy.seaborne@hp.com>


On Mar 1, 2007, at 5:37 AM, Seaborne, Andy wrote:

First, thanks a ton for going through all the comments. I appreciate  
it. I have some responses below, but I'm mostly satisfied by yr  
comments.

> > Strike the odd adjective "companion" that's used in front of
> > "protocol". Makes no sense.

You didn't say anything about this one, Andy. I still think it should  
be struck.

> The convention (by scanning some W3C recs) appears to be that all  
> sections are normative unless stated otherwise; appendices are not  
> normative unless marker normative.

That's fine, I suppose, but as I said earlier today, I think the doc  
should *say* this explicitly, since most readers won't know W3C  
convention and won't scan W3C recs, as you've done.

I also think there should be some kind of rule for resolving clashes  
between normative sections, where the algebra and grammar trump.  
(And, yes, that's won't *always* be sufficient.)

> I've marked the grammar as normative.

Good, that's the one I really care about, I guess.

> The data description is Turtle and outside the spec.

I don't understand this comment.


> > IMO, we should not define terms used from another spec and then
> > *rename* them in this spec. This is
> > just confusing. "IRI" -> "RDF URI reference"; and "datatype IRI" ->
> > "datatype URI". If we're going to do this -- and I'd prefer we  
> didn't
> > -- it should be more explicitly marked as such. Putting this into  
> two
> > parenthetical phrases -- which suggests that that content is
> > secondarily important -- is likely to cause confusion.
>
> This is the "Document Conventions" section and it is importing  
> terminology from elsewhere.

Yes, I get that. But in two places the terms are renamed, too, which  
I think is confusing. A sentence to this effect would suffice: "Two  
of the terms used from [wherever they come from...] are used with the  
same meaning but are renamed here: "RDF URI reference" is spelled as  
"IRI" and "datatype URI" is spelled "datatype IRI" in this document."  
Or some such.

> > "SPARQL implementations may issue warnings..." -- how? Which ones?
> > There's a lot of talk about
> > warnings and errors, but no warnings or errors defined. Why not?
>
> The local API is free to do what it wants.  The protocol would also  
> be a way to issue warnings.

Yeah, I think this is still confusing and problematic. At the very  
least shouldn't we tally up all the place in the QL spec where it  
mentions some error or warning, give them all names, and then stick  
those into the protocol spec? That a local API may do something else,  
and is undefined by the WG, doesn't really seem at all relevant.

> Some tools don't work with &ndash; properly (possibly this is  
> charset problems).  We've had document corruption problems before :-(

Ouch. Well, there is a Unicode form for browsers that are broken; I  
wasn't suggesting "&ndash;" explicitly as just reminding about the  
conventional orthography, which may be implemented in a few diff ways.

> """
> Blank node labels are scoped to a result set (as defined in "SPARQL  
> Query Results XML Format") or the graph for the CONSTRUCT query  
> form. An application writer should not expect blank node labels in  
> a query to refer to a particular blank node in the data. Use of the  
> same label within a result set of graph indicates the same blank node.
> """
> work better for you?

Yes, except for the extraneous "of graph" in the last sentence.

> The use of "may"/"should"/"must" etc in the sense of RFC2119 is  
> indicated by their use in some emphasized form (bold or capitals  
> usually, depending on the medium).  They refer to obligations on  
> the implementations.  We are discussing what SPARQL is, not what an  
> implementation may/must/should do.  That resides with the protocol  
> document - it's the request that is executed that has the main  
> conformance obligation.

I looked at XQuery, since that seems the obvious analogue. It has a  
very nice conformance section, where it uses RFC 2119 words. I think  
it's worth looking at.

> > Last sentence: "may be the empty string" -- huh?
>
> "may be empty" ??

Perhaps, I don't know; but "may be the empty string" is hard to  
understand. Maybe just "may be an empty string"?

> > And "These allocated blank nodes..." is vague. Which ones?
>
> the ones for the list

If you haven't already, I think you should make that more explicit.

> changed to "short form" like previously.
>
> It may be equivalent abstractly but strictly it's not equivalent  
> because different grammar productions are involved.  "short  
> form" (sometimes "syntactic sugar") is the term I know to use for  
> this.

I think 'syntactic sugar' or 'a shortened, convenience form' are  
better than 'short form'.

Cheers,
Kendall
Received on Monday, 5 March 2007 21:05:45 GMT

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