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

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 11:22:30 +0200
Message-ID: <4625E356.20004@w3.org>
To: uldis.bojars@deri.org
Cc: public-sweo-ig@w3.org

Uldis Bojars wrote:
> 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
> (RDF/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
> parse. 
> 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.

Take your point. I have replaced that half sentence by "and this is
probably the most widely used format today"

>>>>> 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, ...).

I still have my reservations. However... I realized that there *is* one
question on tools (3.3). So I modified the text a little bit, here is
how it looks now:

There are several lists on the Web that give a more-or-less
comprehensive overview of the various available tools. There is a Wiki
page on the W3C ESW Wiki site that is maintained but the W3C staff as
well as the community at large. This page includes references to
programming environments, validators that can be used to validate
RDF/XML data or OWL ontologies, SPARQL endpoints, specialized editors or
triple databases. It also includes references to other lists, like Dave
Beckett's Resource Description Framework (RDF) Resource Guide or the
tool list maintained at the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin.

(the wiki page does include references to validators!)

>> 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. ]]]

Yep, this looks sharper. I changed it.

>>>>> 2.7. . microformats
>> I rewrote the second paragraph in that section using some terms from
> above:
>> [[[ 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 :-)

Thanks Uldis!


> Best,
> Uldis
> [ http://captsolo.net/info/ ]


Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
URL: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
PGP Key: http://www.cwi.nl/%7Eivan/AboutMe/pgpkey.html
FOAF: http://www.ivan-herman.net/foaf.rdf

Received on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 09:21:58 UTC

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