W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > August 2007

Re: what is a plain literal?

From: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:07:53 -0700
Message-ID: <46BC7139.9080802@globalmentor.com>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>

Garret Wilson wrote:
> Next question: how do plain literals differ semantically from typed 
> literals with a datatype URI of xsd:string? Yes, I know that they are 
> "different" in the URI abstract syntax, but that's begging the 
> question---what does that *mean*. They "denote themselves", I'm 
> told---and what "themselves" are are strings of characters. What I'm 
> asking is: in real-life practical applications, where would it ever be 
> useful to talk about a literal absent its type information? That is, 
> where would I ever want to choose a plain literal over a typed literal 
> of datatype xsd:string?
...
> Of course, when I'm creating RDF/XML it's much easier for me to create 
> plain literals. I'm just as lazy as the next person. But that's just a 
> syntactical issue---would anybody miss anything if future RDF parsers 
> were to interpret <eg:property>text</eg:property> as a typed literal 
> with datatype xsd:string? (Sure, existing queries on plain literals 
> would need to be changed, but that's not the question.)

Someone off the list pointed out 
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-rdf-mt-20040210/#DtypeRules . So 
apparently, besides the RDF restriction that typed literals cannot have 
language tags, it is perfectly fine to treat plain literals as if they 
were typed literals of datatype xsd:string, and vice-versa.

Thanks.

Garret

P.S. Yes, were I to propose changes to RDF, I would propose adding a 
language tag to typed literals of datatype xsd:string; and doing away 
with plain literals.
Received on Friday, 10 August 2007 14:08:01 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 26 March 2013 21:45:17 GMT