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Re: 18. and consequences

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 06:45:00 -0400
To: Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>
Cc: public-rdf-dawg@w3.org
Message-ID: <1303469100.8245.31.camel@waldron>
On Wed, 2011-04-20 at 08:36 +0100, Andy Seaborne wrote:
> 
> On 19/04/11 19:19, Steve Harris wrote:
> > On 2011-04-19, at 16:28, Andy Seaborne wrote:
> >> Resolutions:
> > ...
> >
> >> 2. Unquoted decimal literals in SPARQL 1.1 must have at least one digit to the right of the decimal point&  add note about this change to LC draft
> >
> > Good.
> >
> 
> Be careful what you wish for.
> 
> The following, from the DAWG/SPARQL-1.0 test suite, break because of this.
> 
> http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/DataAccess/tests/data-r2/basic/term-6.rq
> http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/DataAccess/tests/data-r2/basic/term-7.rq
> http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/DataAccess/tests/data-r2/syntax-sparql1/syntax-lit-08.rq
> 
> Breaking the conformance suite is quite serious.
> 
> and what about
>    .1
> ?
> 
> and what about doubles -- this really does not make sense to me any more:
> 
> 2.e57
>    and
> .2e66
> 
> Earliest Turtle spec: 2006-12-04 [1] which refers back to SPARQL WD 
> 2005-11-23 and that followed N3 IIRC.
> 
> While I prefer the 18.0 style, it has consequences.

I think this speaks more to the high quality of the SPARQL test suite
than it does to real-world consequences.   A good test suite tests the
odd little corner cases, even those perhaps no one uses in real life.

While I agree there's a kind of Hippocratic Oath for standards bodies
("First, do no harm"), I think the long-term benefits vastly outweigh
the short-term costs.   By analogy, doctors often have to do harm to
prevent greater harm, as in making a cut to remove a tumor.  What makes
it hard for us is obtaining consent, and sometimes the people harmed are
not the same as the people helped. 

Has anyone come forward and shown a case where existing deployed
hard-coded queries will break and the people behind them feel strongly
that this change isn't worth it for them and their users, in the long
run?  

I agree we should highlight this change to get such people to come
forward, if they exist, so we can weigh that real cost against the
weight of the long-term benefit of this change.

   -- Sandro

> 	Andy
> 
> [1] http://www.dajobe.org/2004/01/turtle/2006-12-04/
> 
> 
Received on Friday, 22 April 2011 10:45:13 GMT

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