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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>

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/>.


   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


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.

Received on Thursday, 10 May 2012 18:54:17 UTC

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