W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org > November 2005

Re: CURIEs vs. QNames

From: Ben Adida <ben@mit.edu>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 09:53:50 -0500
Message-Id: <12E4C556-7762-4C4A-9FE5-7B2FE8A0360E@mit.edu>
Cc: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>


On Nov 28, 2005, at 9:12 AM, Dan Connolly wrote:

> > one of my main arguments in favour of CURIEs is that we
> > need a way to abbreviate URIs in a manner that has *already* become
> > established practice via QNames
>
>  -- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf/ 
> 2005Nov/0021
>
> Who is the "we" there? Is this requirement really established?

"we" is the sense of the task force after months of thinking about  
requirements from customers like the IPTC. This has been documented  
on the mailing list, and we're trying to find the time to put  
together all the pointers that clarify this requirement from all of  
our discussions and input from customers over the past 6 months.

> I don't need a new standardized way to abbreviate URIs.
> There's XML base, &entities; (ugh), relative URI references, and  
> even local short-hands
> that I can transform via XSLT/GRDDL.

None of these solutions come even close to solving the problem of  
expressing mildly interesting RDF in XHTML. XML base and Relative  
URIs expect all abbreviated properties and elements in a single  
statement to live at the same location. Note also that we cannot  
assume GRDDL as the mechanism to solve all of our problems.

> So whoever "we" is, count me out.

We owe the community more details about the requirement, but the  
solutions you bring up above don't seem relevant.

What's surprising to me is that there is this enormous conflict  
between QNames and URIs which no one seems willing to solve. Frankly,  
I'd rather we, as a task force, *not* be forced to solve it, but I  
see no other way to do our job. For years we've been stuck with the  
Qname/URI conflict, a classic example of syntax-driven design. For  
years this has been mostly ignored, because when the need for a URI  
abbreviation arose in XHTML, it was almost always a URI at the  
current host, in which case your solutions of relative URIs or XML  
base work just fine. With the introduction of RDF into XHTML,  
however, we can no longer deny this hole.

What if I want to express multiple Dublin Core properties in my page?  
Do I really need to write the Dublin Core URI multiple times? Do I  
really need to start using XSLT just so I can define URI  
abbreviations? Or should I simply violate the TAG's recommendation  
that QNames not be used as URI abbreviations, and then be stuck with  
a mostly-working-but-not-quite-complete abbreviation scheme?

I certainly understand the worries about the specific syntax that  
will be used for CURIEs, and the task force is actively discussing  
various options right now. However, I don't understand this reaction  
to the CURIE concept.

-Ben
Received on Monday, 28 November 2005 14:54:50 GMT

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