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Re: RDF-ISSUE-89 (at-prefix): Should Turtle allow SPARQL's PREFIX like @prefix? [RDF Turtle]

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 18:06:30 +0100
Message-ID: <4FABF596.3050601@webr3.org>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
CC: RDF Working Group <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Sandro Hawke wrote:
> On Wed, 2012-05-09 at 18:42 +0000, RDF Working Group Issue Tracker
> wrote:
>> RDF-ISSUE-89 (at-prefix): Should Turtle allow SPARQL's PREFIX like @prefix? [RDF Turtle]
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/2011/rdf-wg/track/issues/89
>>
>> Raised by: Sandro Hawke
>> On product: RDF Turtle
>>
>> The syntaxes of Turtle and SPARQL are very strongly aligned.   There's one glaring difference now, I think.  Turtle has people use "@prefix" to declare their namespace prefixes, but SPARQL uses "PREFIX".
>>
>> Surely this is going to confuse and frustrate users.
>>
>> PROPOSED: Turtle be defined to allow either @prefix or PREFIX, with PREFIX preferred and used in all the examples. 
> 
> BTW, I'm sorry for bringing this up so late in the process, but I didn't
> step back far enough, earlier, to see it clearly.   Like the rest of
> you, I've seen and used Turtle (and N3) for so long I'm quite used to
> the mandatory at-sign on the prefix and base keywords.
> 
> But when I imagine introducing new people to Turtle, as I expect to be
> doing for many years once it becomes a Recommendation, I can't think of
> any way to justify that odd character.
> 
> Similarly, while we're on the subject, I can't think of any way to
> justify the need for the colon as part of the prefixedName, when the
> prefix is empty.      (Call fixing this 'the barewords proposal' which
> isn't part of issue-89.)
> 
> There is an argument (below) that we couldn't do both of these changes.
> But to not do either one seems to me to do a grave disservice to our
> future potential users, and (incidentally) to everyone hoping we'll draw
> in a lot of users.
> 
> We could do this experiment:  find a couple people who've used at least
> one formal language before, but never seen Turtle or SPARQL, and ask
> them which of these looks like a language they'd rather use:
> 
>         @prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/>.
>         @prefix : <http://example.com/Alice/personal#>.
>         
>         :Alice foaf:knows :Bob, :Charlie, :Dave.
> 
> or
> 
>         prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/>.
>         prefix <http://example.com/Alice/personal#>.
>         
>         Alice foaf:knows Bob, Charlie, Dave.
>         
> Does anyone doubt the second example would win overwhelmingly?

would you resolve Alice, Bob, Charlie, Dave against @base (if defined) 
or @prefix ?

personally I like the @ as it visually shows me easily what is a 
directive, especially useful when the directives are not only at the top 
of the document.
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2012 17:07:16 GMT

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