W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > January 2006

Re: [tangle] getting the semweb exactly wrong

From: Jan Algermissen <jalgermissen@topicmapping.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 19:42:47 +0100
Message-Id: <D6E0D996-556C-4B11-A35F-118BA37B604F@topicmapping.com>
Cc: Timothy Falconer <timothy@immuexa.com>, semantic-web@w3.org
To: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>

On Jan 3, 2006, at 6:35 PM, Frank Manola wrote:

> RDF data is *highly* normalized: RDF essentially organizes data as  
> binary relations (one per property) with surrogate keys (URIs),  
> which is as normalized as you can get.

I just love it to see people making comparisions between the rock- 
solid, stone-aged dinosaur 'relational data model' and stuff like RDF  
(or Topic Maps for that matter)...which are essentially also data  
models in the exact same sense. I'd go as far as saying that they are  
direct competitors to the relational model - though this is sometimes  
difficult to see given the decades that the relational model is ahead  
in terms of theoretical analysis and implementation experience.

No doubt that the inherent requirement for typing (and grouping  
together of properties) that the relational model imposes on data  
modelers (and query writers) has performance advantages when it comes  
to disk IO but I seriously wonder exactly how important these  
advantages are today.

Especially if we take into account that much of the relational body  
of theory is about dealing with 'problems' introduced by the inherent  
typing. With RDF et al. there just is no such thing as normalization  
issues, null values, ternary logic - not to mention the integration  
problems induced in the long run.


P.S. Just in case Date or Pascal ever read this and honor me with a  
quote on dbdebunk.com: I really do like the relational model and most  
of your enjoyable writings...I just feel IT is off to something new  
in a sense :o)

Jan Algermissen, Consultant & Programmer                         
Tugboat Consulting, 'Applying Web technology to enterprise IT'   
Received on Tuesday, 3 January 2006 18:43:01 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 March 2016 07:41:49 UTC