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RE: Comments to Semantic Web FAQ [2/2]

From: Uldis Bojars <uldis.bojars@deri.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:13:29 +0100
To: "'Ivan Herman'" <ivan@w3.org>, <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1HduzZ-0003oX-6A@aji.w3.org>

FAQ looks good for publishing.
Many thanks to Ivan for all the revision work.

Just a few more comments. 

> 4.3. Isn't RDF simply an XML application?
> Note that one of the serialization formats of RDF is indeed based on XML
> and this is currently W3C's standard encoding. 
> But others exist, see the separate question on RDF representation.

Text "is currently W3C's standard encoding" may be understood that this is
the only encoding which W3C endorses or suggests to use. 

There are some [real or perceived] problems which people connect with
RDF/XML [ see "The Sixteen Faces of Eve" in
http://iandavis.com/blog/2005/09/the-sixteen-faces-of-eve ] and it often is
the main reason why people consider RDF complex. Text-based representations
are much closer to the fundamental nature of RDF and are much easier to

Suggestion: consider XML- and text-based representations on equal rights and
remove "is currently W3C's standard encoding" from the text.
If in need to stress the wide use of RDF/XML it could mention that RDF/XML
is currently most widely used representation of RDF.

>>>> How can I know if RDF data I am looking at is valid ?
>> RDF data must be valid in order to correctly process them. 
> [... skipped the answer text ...]

> I am not sure. This looks like a very technical, detailed issue to me.
> If we do that, then this open the flood gates for a number of other
questions (how do I program RDF in Java, in C, in Python, etc etc), and I am
not sure I want to go there...

Yes and no.

Take analogy with web pages - as soon as you talk about XHTML you have to
say that underlying XML must be valid. 
Same here - if we talk about RDF/XML at all we better say that it must be
valid and tell how to check that.

This may save a lot of frustration to someone who otherwise will say "this
RDF/XML thing does not work" when exploring the Semantic Web.
The tools listed are only simple web and command line tools for validating
data, no programming background required at all.

In my opinion this is where we should draw the line - tell in the FAQ about
valid RDF but exclude all the programming questions.
For programming questions we may explicitly say that they are not discussed
here and point in the right direction.
Is there a FAQ which tells how to program RDF in Java, C, Python, ...?

Of course, validity of RDF is only of concern to those who will want to
produce or consume RDF data. Regular end-users and company executives need
not worry about that (and also about what is RDF, RDF/XML, URIs, ...).

> 3.10. Can I see Semantic Web data directly in my browser?

Thanks for references to RDF browsers.

What about:

[[[ You can have a human-readable display of RDF data by using RDF data
browsers like the Tabulator, Disco, or the OpenLink RDF Browser, and web
browser extensions like PiggyBank or Semantic Radar. While end users will
not have a need to see Semantic Web data (instead they will benefit from
better information systems built on top of it) it may be helpful to
developers to be aware of Semantic Web data directly so that they can use
this information in their applications. ]]]

>>>> 2.7. . microformats

> I rewrote the second paragraph in that section using some terms from

> [[[ Data described in microformats each address a specific problem area.
One has to develop a program well-adapted to a particular microformat, to
the way it uses, say, the class and title attributes. It also becomes
difficult (though possible) to combine different microformats. In contrast,
RDF can represent any information-including that extracted from microformats
present on the page. This is where microformats can benefit from RDF-the
generality of the Semantic Web tools makes it easier to reuse existing
tools, eg, a query language and combining statements from different origins
easily belongs to the very essence of the Semantic Web. ]]]

> I do not feel that any more change is necessary, I must admit...

Agree. It's "sharper" now :-)


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Received on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 21:13:46 UTC

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