W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > spec-prod@w3.org > April to June 2010

Re: W3C EBNF catalog?

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2010 12:56:22 -0500
To: Dominique Hazael-Massieux <dom@w3.org>
Cc: spec-prod <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1272563782.4466.20905.camel@pav.lan>
On Thu, 2010-04-29 at 18:18 +0200, Dominique Hazael-Massieux wrote:
> Hi,
> As I was having a cursory look at the definition of the RIF language in
> EBNF [1], and wanted to quickly check the validity of the grammar using
> existing tools such as abnfgen [2] or bnf_check, the following (somewhat
> unstructured) thoughts occurred to me:
> • for better or for worse, XML defined its own EBNF syntax [4] that
> differs from the ISO standard [5]; given that a number of W3C specs keep
> using that specific syntax, and given that there are more tools that
> recognize the ISO syntax, it would be nice to have a converter from the
> W3C syntax into the ISO one — does anyone know if that exists?

I have python code to read "W3C syntax" (i.e. the one in the XML spec)
and write it out in turtle...


it should be straightforward to adapt it to write out the ISO syntax...
but... why?

Is there a network of tools and practice around the ISO syntax?

I also have javascript code to read IETF ABNF syntax
a la that abnfgen tool. Hmm... 
(also in http://jay.w3.org/~connolly/projects/urlp/ )

Some other relevant pointers...

a notation3 grammar in XML formal grammar notation / EBNF

bnf2turtle -- write a turtle version of an EBNF grammar
by connolly on Fri, 2006-02-10

We need a EBNF spec Bjoern Hoehrmann (Monday, 9 January)

> • RIF refers to a number of EBNF defined in other W3C specs (in
> particular XML Namespaces and SPARQL); I wonder if having a catalog of
> the existing EBNF defined in various specifications wouldn't facilitate
> both the re-usage of these EBNF and their testing — right now, to create
> the full RIF EBNF grammar requires a lot of easy-to-get wrong copy &
> pasting, that an EBNF catalog could presumably facilitate; is this a
> goofy idea? has anyone heard of a tool allowing to manage/catalog EBNF
> productions?

Having the RIF BNF as one file that you don't have to copy/paste
from is a very good idea.

Trying to collect the BNFs from all W3C specs... ugh...
resist the urge to centralize! I suppose the QA matrix has
been valuable, but... is it maintained any more?

People ask for lists of DTDs... I don't really see the appeal.
Why not lists of .png images in specs while we're at it?

> Dom
> 1.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/CR-rif-dtb-20091001/#sec-shortcuts-constants
> 2. http://www.quut.com/abnfgen/
> 3. http://www.icosaedro.it/bnf_chk/index.html
> 4. http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/#sec-notation
> 5. http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=26153

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
gpg D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:56:24 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:42:18 UTC