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Re: "RDF/XML Lite" task force?

From: Benjamin Nowack <bnowack@appmosphere.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 16:38:57 +0100
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: W3C SWEO IG <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <PM-GA.20070111163857.90CDE.1.1D@>

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for your comments. I guess you are right that solving 
this issue could be done via SWIG, although I don't expect 
to get very far there. I was hoping for a small group of 
focused people, but yeah, maybe there is a chance to start
something similar to the recently created vCard/RDF work. 


On 11.01.2007 15:19:58, Ivan Herman wrote:
>while the core technical issue is obviously of interest, I do believe
>that is not something that we should do under the heading of the SWEO
>group. I am just concerned of running thin. In my view, this is the type
>of discussion that is best fit on the SW Interest Group... [this is just
>my process hat on...:-)]
>B.t.w.: (and puttting down all my hats:-) I am not sure that a
>simplified XML syntax is really what we would need from a SWEO
>perspective. I am bit mixed up where Ora referred to this (I think it
>was answering Lee's blog): now that the RDF/XML parsers are omnipresent,
>why would we care about the details of an XML encoding? What we need is
>an understanding that the model and XML are different. That is why we
>will try to get some more formal stamp on Turtle (I hope this will work
>out); that is why also I see RDFa as an important tool. Ian raised a
>JSon format: I did not think about it before but, well, yes, why not?
>Benjamin Nowack wrote:
>> OK, this would probably fit better in SWD, but it's related to
>> SWEO as well. Just some food for more thought:
>> One of the (IMO) most destructive SemWeb misconceptions is the 
>> "RDF = RDF/XML" one. I guess we all agree that one of SWEO's
>> objectives should be to provide (links to) easy-to-grok material
>> for SemWeb newbies that make the distinction clear. However, if
>> want to go beyond these simple education tasks, we have to
>> reach out and get more people of the larger Web dev community
>> involved. I personally don't have a problem with RDF/XML, and
>> I always sigh when the "RDF/XML sucks" perma-thread reappears
>> every other month, but fact is:
>>  * there *is* a perma-thread
>>  * it's sucessfully used by SemWeb opponents (and proponents
>>    as well, for that matter) to hinder community growth
>>  * even many RDFers don't like it
>>  * it *is* the recommended syntax 
>>  * we are not in a position to make everyone switch to
>>    e.g. turtle; embedded RDF approaches don't work for
>>    all use cases, and generally, an XML-based syntax
>>    makes a lot of sense
>>  * even the most simple SemWeb "hello world" will include
>>    some serialization, any useful *2nd step* will include
>>    parsing/consuming
>>  * developers didn't forget the pain and frustration when 
>>    they gave up on trying to write an RSS 1.0 parser
>> So, assuming our wake-up efforts are a huge success and everyone
>> gets interested in SemWeb development, how can we make sure
>> that this 2nd step mentioned above doesn't become a showstopper?
>> Of course, turtle is one way, but I think we'd be significantly
>> more successful if we could offer an RDF/XML subset that's easy
>> to write, and (more importantly) easy to parse with existing XML
>> tools. And I believe the main benefit wouldn't be a technical,
>> but a marketing/motivation one. When I wrote my RDF/XML parser
>> in PHP using libxml, I managed to have a basic version running
>> in less than an afternoon, but it took me months before it 
>> covered all the different optional features in the spec.
>> I'm not sure what my concrete proposal for SWEO would be, I'd
>> at least like to see
>>  * an as-short-as-possible "essential RDF syntax" document,
>>    that, after reading it once, allows developers to write valid
>>    RDF/XML (and turtle?) documents.
>> What I'm dreaming of is:
>>  * a more spec-like "RDF/XML Lite", that is a valid subset
>>    of RDF/XML, XSLT and XML parser-friendly, and that allows
>>    average coders to easily create conforming parsers and/or
>>    converters
>>  * we manage to persuade toolkit developers to offer this
>>    serialization as an output option
>>  * we manage to persuade app/extension/plugin developers to
>>    update their RDF/XML export formats
>>  * alternatively we manage to deploy some simple
>>    rdfxml2rdfxmllite scripts
>> I think this would be doable, it's a little bit like DOAP, or
>> the foafnet effort from a few years back, just more general.
>> I think it would be easy to get consensus on the features this
>> RDF/XML subset should (not) have, Leo even started a wiki 
>> page[1] some time ago. What's missing is just someone to 
>> collect requirements, write it up properly and some authority
>> to spread the word.
>> Congrats, you reached the end of this post. Fell free to
>> tell me this is entirely off-topic ;)
>> Ben
>> [1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/SimpleRdfXml
>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 Thursday, 11 January 2007 15:40:22 UTC

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