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Moving rdf:Seq and friends to RDF/XML (was: Re: Minutes of RDF-WG F2F, Day 2)

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 12:47:47 +0100
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <B2BD4287-FE53-4A15-AF0E-A4741FB1B2EF@cyganiak.de>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
On 30 Oct 2012, at 18:24, Dan Brickley wrote:
> "Millions (maybe billions) of files around the world using RDF?
> Awesome, let's declare the markup they use to be broken! That'll teach
> them to follow W3C recommendations..."

How about changing the documentation of rdf:Seq and friends in the following way:

* They are actually syntactic features of RDF/XML, like rdf:Description or rdf:about

* Unlike rdf:Description and rdf:about, they are expressed as triples in the graph that one gets from parsing the RDF/XML document

For example, here's the current definition of rdf:Alt:

[[
The rdf:Alt class is the class of RDF 'Alternative' containers. It is a subclass of rdfs:Container. Whilst formally it is no different from an rdf:Seqor an rdf:Bag, the rdf:Alt class is used conventionally to indicate to a human reader that typical processing will be to select one of the members of the container. The first member of the container, i.e. the value of the rdf:_1 property, is the default choice.
]]

This could be changed to something like this:

[[
The rdf:Alt class is the class of RDF/XML 'Alternative" elements. It is a subclass of rdfs:Container. It has no formally defined meaning in RDF Semantics. However, it is used conventionally in the RDF/XML syntax to indicate to a human reader that typical processing will be to select one of the members of the container. The first member of the container, i.e. the value of the rdf:_1 property, is the default choice. The use of this class in new deployments that do not specifically target the RDF/XML syntax is discouraged.
]]

Clearly, some subtlety in the phrasing is required. The gist would be that nothing changes for existing technologies like XMP or RSS 1.0 that are tightly bound to RDF/XML, but it sends a clear signal that one shouldn't use these guys in “modern” RDF.

Best,
Richard
Received on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:48:17 GMT

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