W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > December 2011

Re: Turtle support for WebID profiles

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 07:01:12 -0500
Cc: WebID XG <public-xg-webid@w3.org>
Message-Id: <00A0C573-3BF7-47A8-A411-41192361CDE4@w3.org>
To: Patrick Logan <patrickdlogan@gmail.com>

On 2011-12 -22, at 13:42, Patrick Logan wrote:

> Another spec-specific thread, this one for moving Turtle forward.
> Again, please keep this thread focused on moving the spec forward in
> support of Turtle. Longer, side conversations should go in a different
> thread.
> 
> Henry asked in that other v.long thread:
> 
> "I wonder if the linked data crowd would prefer turtle support over
> rdf/xml by now."
> 
> My sense is the incremental cost for spec'ing, implementing, and
> testing Turtle is fairly low. And my assumption is that use of Turtle
> is on the upswing relative to RDF/XML.
> 
> My preference is for Turtle to be included, because:
> 
> * Given the RDF/XML requirement, the incremental cost for spec'ing,
> implementing, and testing Turtle is presumably low.
> 
> * Turtle provides a beneficial alternative to RDF/XML or other XML-ish
> notations, as Turtle is more concise and less verbose than RDF/XML.

I would add reasons:

* Feedback from those using linked data in the enterprise that using
RDF/XML confuses developers who put their XML heads on and
mis-apply ideas like XSLT and the DOM instead of thinking in the RDF model.

* Turtle allows if necessary relative URIs in namespaces, which can
make the engineering easier when for example you have a server proxied
behind another, or a file which is used in file: space and served in http: space.

* (Turtle does not imply full N3, but in the future there is an upgrade path
if there are situations in which you need to have graphs within graphs,
in future specs, like for serializing proofs or dumps of provenance information, etc.)

I'd strongly support turtle being a MUST for consumers, and SHOULD use for providers, with RDF/XML required for consumers and deprecated for providers.

I don't know a library which supports RDF/XML but not turtle. The rdflib.js library 
https://github.com/linkeddata/rdflib.js
(the one Tabulator uses) supports both, but currently only turtle works in the Node.js port which I have been using for a command line test harness as node.js 0.6.5 didn't have a suitable XML library available at the time.
 
Tim
Received on Friday, 23 December 2011 12:01:21 GMT

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