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RE: xml:lang [was Re: Outstanding Issues ]

From: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 16:37:49 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Bill de hÓra <dehora@eircom.net>, "'RDF Core'" <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
At 16:18 12/02/2002 +0000, Bill de hÓra wrote:

> > From: Brian McBride [mailto:bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com]:
> >
> > A good reason might have the form "If we do it as m&s says,
> > problem x occurs".
>This old thing again.

Yeah.  We put it on ice till we had a better idea of what datatypes would 
look like.

>Patrick, Jeremy and I did some work on this last

Yes.  You wrote up your conclusions, didn't you.  Can you please post a 

>  it seemed to raise more problems than it solved and annoy more
>people than it was worth. If we stay as the M&S says, then I think we
>have an obligation to explain,
>1) why the language is a part of a literal, and not say, a property of
>it (I think we know the answer to this, but we need to just come out and
>say it)?
>2) what is meant by "part of"?
>3) why only 2 parts?
>I don't think that composing a literal of (string, lang) pairs is a
>particularly good way of modelling a literal and I don't like giving
>language special status, but...my answers:
>1) literals can't have properties, but we find xml:lang in the syntax
>very handy, so we made it part of a literal.
>2) it means not a property of.

I'm not sure I'd go that far.  I'd have no problems with cwm, for example, 
allowing literals as subjects and making the lang a property.

>3) the lang part is the only property we think we need at the moment.
>Chances are future version of RDF will allow literals to have properties
>so don't sweat it.

Just so.

>As an implementer, the para Brian took from the spec:
>[[ (P221) The xml:lang attribute may be used as defined by [XML] to
>associate a language with the property value. There is no specific data
>model representation for xml:lang (i.e., it adds no triples to the data
>model); the language of a literal is considered by RDF to be a part of
>literal. An application may ignore language tagging of a string. All RDF
>applications must specify whether or not language tagging in literals is
>significant; that is, whether or not language is considered when
>string matching or other processing.]]
>needs to be fixed.

Fair enough.  Should we discuss that as changes to the syntax WD, rather 
than M&S?

>There is no way specified way for an RDF application
>to signal whether lang tags are significant, specifying MUST here is
>ridiculous (what's an RDF application anyway?).

Just so - we aren't defining an api or a processing model.
>If we're keeping literals as (string lang) pairs, then at least remove
>the signalling constraint mentioned on applications, being not usefully
>enforceable or testable.

Yup - I don't think the syntax WD mentions it.

Received on Tuesday, 12 February 2002 11:39:01 UTC

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