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Re: A new introduction section for RDF Concepts

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 13:02:53 -0600
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <B20369F2-7FE6-4662-BB7F-49D7ADAF84C2@ihmc.us>
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
+1 to the general idea, but I am worried about making this *too* short. Some of these ideas need a little protective exposition to guard against possible misunderstandings (of which we now have a huge collection to select from.)

Might be worth emphasizing what RDF isn't, eg many people (still !) think of it as a way of describing data structures (like JSON) or as being some kind of ur-programming language. 

Few niggles about wording.

 "Literals denote datatyped resources such as strings, numbers, and dates." This sounds like datatyped resources are a special kind of resource, which is a common misperception. Rather, typed literals are a special way to denote. 

"The predicate itself is an IRI and denotes a relationship type, also known as a property."  
I don't think its a relationship TYPE, just a relation. Might be worth saying it is a binary relation, in fact. 
Might also be worth saying a few words about relations with more arguments, as this is a very common sticking point for many people (and continues to be: just a month ago I had to listen to an eminence explain that RDF was useless because it couldnt represent relations with more than 2 arguments.) 

"The statement corresponding to a triple with a blank node says that something with the given relationship exists, without explicitly naming it."  This sounds like it imples the scope of the bnode is a single triple, which is unfortunate. 

"By social convention, the IRI owner gets to say what an IRI denotes. They do this when “minting” a new IRI." That would be great if it were true, but in fact they mostly don't do it, even then. 

(This whole section seems to me to be very flaky. HOW does a document specify an intended referent? HOW does publishing some RDF do that? Especially when an RDF vocabulary is required to already have "clearly established referents" ? Isnt there a circularity lurking in here? )

"An RDF vocabulary is a collection of IRIs with clearly established referents " 
Nah, there aren't any of those the be found. And AFAIK, there is no established and recognized way to clearly establish the referent of any IRI, other than http-range-14 in the 200-response case. 

Pat



On Nov 11, 2011, at 1:22 PM, Richard Cyganiak wrote:

> The 2004 RDF Concepts spec starts with six pages of informative front matter, followed by six pages of normative text.
> 
> From a 2011 point of view, the informative first part is not very good. I'd like to replace all of it with new text that is:
> 
> * significantly shorter
> * more relevant to understanding RDF
> * a better reflection of 2011 understanding
> * introduces more useful terms not mentioned in the 2004 version
>  (resource, vocabulary, concrete syntax, …)
> * less redundant with the later normative sections
> 
> I've drafted new text (using bits of the old text where possible). It's ~2 pages.
> 
> http://www.w3.org/2011/rdf-wg/wiki/User:Rcygania2/RDF_Concepts_Introduction
> 
> I'd appreciate comments on the draft, and please speak up if you have fundamental concerns about this step.
> 
> Best,
> Richard
> 
> 
> (Housekeeping: ISSUE-68)
> 

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Received on Friday, 18 November 2011 19:03:31 GMT

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