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Re: "RDF/XML Lite" task force?

From: Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@dfki.de>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 17:12:40 +0100
Message-ID: <45ABA7F8.3090602@dfki.de>
To: Benjamin Nowack <bnowack@appmosphere.com>
CC: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, W3C SWEO IG <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>
Hi Benjamin, Ivan

I go with Ivan, its not a task of SWEO, we cross borders to the core WG.

btw: I have written some ideas about a simpler RDF/XML here:

If you are interested, just go on from there, edit wildly and get 
feedback on the mailinglists from rdf-interest..

Es begab sich aber da Benjamin Nowack zur rechten Zeit 11.01.2007 16:38 
folgendes schrieb:
> 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. 
> Cheers,
> Benjamin
> On 11.01.2007 15:19:58, Ivan Herman wrote:
>> Benjamin,
>> 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?
>> Ivan
>> 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

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Received on Monday, 15 January 2007 16:16:54 UTC

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