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RE: rdf as a base for other languages

From: <jos.deroo.jd@belgium.agfa.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 16:25:38 +0100
To: jborden@mediaone.net
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <OFB02825E6.04886D73-ON41256A60.0048A089@bayer-ag.com>

(this is a reply to Jonathan's concerns about RDFCore and I
thought that it would be good to cc the WG to get more feedback)

Jonathan,

> I think the question is whether RDF is good enough basically as is, modulo a
> few syntactic touch ups and clarifications, or needs to be revised perhaps
> in a substantial fashion.

'perhaps' is the right word here :-)

> Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be arguing _for_ keeping RDF
> basically asis, yet are a proponent of N3.

True and let me try to explain why.
There are a lot of 'contexts' out there ('context' in
the N3 sense i.e. a set of statements).
Any RDF document is such a context. The point is that
such a context is identified with an URI and *could* be
'looked into' by 'evaluating' that URI.
The same is true within each context. There are contexts
within contexts and there is a way to 'look into' those too.
Now things could be identified by their contents (literals,
data: URI's, quoted RDF and so on).
In the case of wtr-ing quoted RDF it is quite obvious that
its statements are going in a different context (and are
not asserted (as is the case for 'anonymous subgraphs' by
which I mean graphs obtained by 'recursive composition' of
arcs originating from anonymous nodes)) BUT it is the
responsability of the RDF engine to organize all those
contexts as *separate* sets of statements (which could be
expressed in e.g. N3-triples syntax).
So having a context-as-URI as triple term is a necessary
and sufficient condition for a 'declarative approach'
because 'looking into' a context is clear from the context.

> I think N3 is terrific,

I more than agree with that and the {} is more shorthand
than anything else to "identify things by their contents".

> but also think that it changes RDF in a
> _substantial_ fashion. That's ok, but why don't we just admit that change is
> in order, and get on with the task of creating the best RDF that can be had.
>
> If you are using N3 as an example of what can be done with RDF that is
> confusing, rather N3 should be used as an example of how RDF should change.

I refer to my above *could*
and in RDF/xml it *could* be done with rdf:parsetype="log:quote"
and that is a perfectly evolvable approach.

--
Jos De Roo, AGFA http://www.agfa.com/w3c/jdroo/
Received on Sunday, 3 June 2001 10:26:19 EDT

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