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Re: SYNTAX: RDF/XML Syntax WD work

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 18:33:46 -0500
Message-Id: <p0510103db7fa5ccd00ae@[]>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
>Hi Dave
>With the danger of rushing in before you've reached anything like a
>stable point ...
>I have had a look at version 1.88 and I am decidedly nervous about the
>direction you're going with the triple production stuff.
>I fear you're heading for a rerun of M&S section 6 with:
>+ too many words
>+ that are self-contradictory
>+ too unclear
>I am also less than taken with the view that the text describing the
>production should be associated with a particular processing model.
>For instance in the subsection "Production node" you say
>        The following processing is performed before handling any
>propertyEltList children and in this order.
>That is presumably intended in an abstract processing model.
>It is in my view, perfectly legal to process the property attribtues
>after the property elements, and the resulting n-triple file is an
>acceptable rendition of the RDF/XML.
>I would go further and say that the property attributes and property
>elements can be processed in any order with the single exception that
>rdf:li is converted into rdf:_NNN in document order.
>I also dislike the "in this order" part since many of the steps you then
>list are, in fact, interchangeable.
>I fear we have a stylistic clash brewing.
>I feel that it is better if a specification does not over-specify by
>indicating superfluous things; whereas you appear to want a
>specification that would have helped you write the particular
>implementation of RDF/XML that you have in mind.
>I do not feel that it is the job of a specification to assist a parser
>writer. The job of a specification is to specify what needs specifying
>(and no more or less). If at any point there is a conflict between the
>task of assisting the reader in their task (e.g. writing a parser), and
>the principle aim of specifying I am clear that the reader should be
>left to seek assistance elsewhere. The reader should expect clarity from
>a spec, if they want a howto then they may need a different document.

I strongly agree with this. Specs should inform, but not constrain 
any more than absolutely required. If there is a neat way to help a 
newbie get a parser (or whatever ) written, then put that in a primer 
or expert-guide document, but not in the spec itself.


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Received on Monday, 22 October 2001 19:33:56 UTC

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