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Re: SYNTAX: RDF Syntax Telecon Friday

From: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 11:39:11 +0100 (BST)
To: RDFCore Working Group <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.31.0110021128160.8265-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>
[ever-growing cc list snipped]

On Tue, 2 Oct 2001, Dave Beckett wrote:

> I have been discussing some of this with Jeremy and my current
> thoughts is an approach something like this.  Note this is not meant
> to be the way that parsers are written, but the way that a formal
> mapping RDF/XML->N-Triples can be defined that can be automatically
> tested.
>
> 1) Validate the RDF/XML 1.0 (revised) syntax using existing
>    XML schema language(s).
>
> 2) Remove abbreviated syntax forms
>
>   This means getting rid of typedNodes, property attributes etc.
>
>   I suggested to Jeremy to use XSLT and I think he has tried since he
>   has named this the "Snail" approach, for its incredible
>   performance.  DanC pointed out he had done some work in this
>   area at: http://www.w3.org/2001/04rs22/
>
> 3) Validate the final form using a more strict schema definition as
>    suggested by Henry Thompson and James Clark in messages linked
>    above.

Steps 2 and 3 are slightly worrying; they mean adding an extra
transformation step that has to be checked/eyeballed/proven correct.
OTOH, the more I look at the existing RDF/XML syntax, the more an
incremental, piecemeal approach to validation and transformation
appeals.

	[Aside: I was fairly sure that there was something
	in RDF/XML that can't be expressed using the longhand
	form. The only thing I can think of is covered by
http://www.w3.org/2000/10/rdf-tests/rdfcore/rdf-containers-syntax-vs-schema/error001.rdf
	...any others?]

> 4) Use the final 'canonical' RDF/XML 1.0 to map into N-Triples using
>    an XSLT transform to text/plain
>
>    It would be something like sequences of
>      <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://subject/">
> 	<foo:property>object</foo:property>
>      </rdf:Description>
>
>    Maybe.
>
>    Of course this couldn't represent all legal rdf models, but will
>    be able to do all models that RDF/XML 1.0 syntax can do.  Mutter
>    ID, BagID, aboutEach ...
>
> The alternative to the last step is to invent a real canonical form,
> most likely a straight XML-ising of N-Triples.  I'd like to avoid
> inventing another language unless absolutely necessary.

Hear, hear.


-- 
jan grant, ILRT, University of Bristol. http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
Tel +44(0)117 9287088 Fax +44 (0)117 9287112 RFC822 jan.grant@bris.ac.uk
perl -e 's?ck?t??print:perl==pants if $_="Just Another Perl Hacker\n"'
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 06:40:51 EDT

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