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RE: XML:Base - impact on RDF (first pass)

From: Ron Daniel <rdaniel@interwoven.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 12:10:48 -0700
To: "Art Barstow" <barstow@w3.org>, "Jan Grant" <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: "Brian McBride" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, "RDFCore Working Group" <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEKICCGFEKJFGKMFLEPCEOFCLAA.rdaniel@interwoven.com>
Art Barstow said:

[Brian McBride]
> > > Someone, I think it might have been Graham, suggested recently that
> > > attributes in the xml namespace should not generate properties.
> > >
> > > Any thoughts?
> >
[Jan Grant]
> > This looks like it might be a good idea; it occurred to me too and I
> > remember someone mentioning it, but couldn't find the message when I
> > went looking for it.
[Art Barstow]
> Why would it be a good idea to not generate triples
> for these attributes?  It seems like the language should
> have as few execeptions as possible.

I worried about that too. But there are some current facts that we
can't ignore:
 0) If you attempt to simply apply RDF rules to the current xml:base and
    xml:lang, you get nonsense.
 1) It is quite possible that future working groups will discover general
    needs, such as setting base URIs, and propose solutions to those
    problems. We can't anticipate how many of those will
    happen in the future. "Not many, but probably some" is all I would
    be willing to venture.
 2) It is easy for those groups to propose those solutions in arbitrary XML,
    and to specify rules like "applies to all contained content" (which
    both xml:base and xml:lang do).
 3) All of the above operates in the XML syntax domain. Defining a property
    in RDF whose meaning is "applies to all contained content in XML
    serialization" is ...  non-trivial.  Setting a requirement on all future
    groups that any new entries in the xml namespace must fit the current
    RDF syntax is a non-starter - they are doing XML, not RDF.


It seems to me that things making it into the xml namespace are going to
be considered special, and of enough importance that all XML processors
going forward are expected to adopt them. RDF's syntax convention is there
so parsers can do something reasonable with stuff they know nothing about.

The special case rules need to take precedence over the general case.

Change the 'attributes in the xml namespace shall not generate
triples' to 'unknown attributes...' and I'm OK with it.


Ron Daniel Jr.
Standards Architect
Tel: +1 415 778 3113
Fax: +1 415 778 3131
Email: rdaniel@interwoven.com

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 In fact, this is my biggest concern about
    RDF, based on my experiences so far. It is VERY hard to hack in little
    extensions in a way that makes sense according to RDF's model. XML is
    pretty easy, the RDF syntax conventions are not obvious to the average
    (or even above-average) production programmer. They see a need, they
    hack a new element or attribute into the file format, and they are done.
    Too bad it breaks somebody else's stuff later down the line.
Received on Wednesday, 6 June 2001 15:13:23 UTC

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