W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > June 2001

Language

From: Martyn Horner <martyn.horner@profium.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 17:30:44 +0200
Message-ID: <3B3C9F24.7F6B2985@profium.com>
To: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Good telecon!

Unfortunately in my time-zone this is the end of Friday afternoon; so I
don't have much time to get these first ideas down... Excuse the lack of
rigour.

As I said, it depends where you come from, but having come from a
previous software localization role and working with Finnish colleagues
and customers (I don't speak Finnish), I have somewhat of an obsession
about this.

Language (or rather locale) certainly singles itself out in my mind as
`pervasive', supplying many objects with multiple layers. I see the
xml:lang definition to be (as TimBL puts it, I believe) a bit of a mess
and (typical localizer speaking) an afterthought.

I find Brian's idea of a `two-part literal' attractive in a fundamental
semantic sense. A `literal' (as I feel it is intended in RDF) is
(strictly) either a string (really a sequence of characters - with all
that implies as to parsing and interpretation) or a reference to a
(semantic) language element (which is the use most customers have for
literals). Thus the object casually referred to as literal "cat" in a
sense is actually (("cat","en"),("chat","fr"),("kissa","fi"),...),
naturally multivalued. Data comes down the line in one language usually
and translation is generally effected as a post-process but (I feel) the
assumption is strong in users' minds that literals are essentially
place-holders for multi-valued strings.

I also like (I think, Aarons's proposal of) the embodiment of this as a
style of anonymous resource with the translations held as objects of
locale-properties: it serves the purpose with some extra coding.

There are cases where the convention of an industry to use English-only
literals as codes for categories in RDF is missed by clients who expect
localization not only of the user interface but of the fixed points in
their data universe. It's a harsh world for the innocent.

I'll come back on Monday with real examples.

Bon weekend,"fr"!

-- 
Martyn Horner <martyn.horner@profium.com>
Profium (former name Pro Solutions), Les Espaces de Sophia,
Immeuble Delta, B.P. 037, F-06901 Sophia-Antipolis, France
Tel. +33 (0)4.93.95.31.44 Fax. +33 (0)4.93.95.52.58
Mob. +33 (0)6.21.01.54.56
Internet: http://www.profium.com
Received on Friday, 29 June 2001 11:31:10 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail pre-2.1.9 : Wednesday, 3 September 2003 09:37:19 EDT