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

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 19:53:47 +0100
Cc: RDF Working Group <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <2A9DF729-D885-40A3-912F-4A210E020F73@cyganiak.de>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Sandro,

I'm sitting on the fence regarding @prefix, and don't like the barewords idea.

> 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.

It's not just the initial @, also the trailing period. Turtle has:

   @prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/>.

SPARQL has:

   PREFIX foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/>

The period is actually a bigger problem than the @, IMO.

On the other hand, someone who has to learn a completely new language won't be bothered greatly by one extra character here or there, IMO. It's rare that newbies point out inconsistencies in the grammar of a new language that they learn.

The same argument that you make for @prefix can be made for @base. Do you suggest changing @base too?

On 10 May 2012, at 17:50, Sandro Hawke wrote:
> * The barewords proposal makes it diverge from SPARQL.   True.  And
> SPARQL wants to keep adding new keywords, probably, going forward.  So,
> that's a real blow against barewords

That.

Also, :42 is a legal prefixed name but 42 couldn't be a legal bareword, so you'll have a situation where you'll ned the colon for some names but not for others.

It's easy to explain that :foo is just a prefixed name with an empty prefix. With barewords, there would be one more kind of thing in the language  they are different from prefixed names. We can now write <foo>, :foo, or foo and they do almost the same thing. Lots of slightly different ways of achieving the same thing usually isn't so good.

Best,
Richard
Received on Thursday, 10 May 2012 18:54:17 GMT

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