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RE: Outstanding Issues - rdfms-xmllang

From: <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 01:36:23 +0000
Message-ID: <T5947580677c407b70724c@reuters.com>
To: timbl@w3.org
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org, w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org

Tim,

Tonight (it has since turned into last night) Graham Klyne drew my
attention to your "Interpretation properties" [1].  You wrote:

> There has to date (2000/02) been a consistent muddle in the RDF
> community about how to represent the natural language of a string. In
> XML it is simple, because you never have to exactly explain what you
> mean. You can mark up span of text and declare it to be French.
>
>   His name was <html:span xml:lang="fr">Jean-Fran&ccedilla;ois</html:span>
>   but we called him Dan.
>
> Under pressure from the XML community to be standard, the RDF spec
> included this attribute as the official RDF way to record that a string
> was in a given language. This was a mistake, as the attribute was thrown
> into the syntax but not into the model which the spec was defining.

IIRC, the RDF M&S WG didn't include string language in the model in the
regular RDF manner because of the argument, put forward by us I18N
folks, that in real life many strings are mixed-language (your made up
sentence above is an example).  The most obvious node-and-arc treatment
cannot, I think, handle that.

We need to devise an approach which allows the string to exist as a
string and, simultaneously, to be recognised as containing substrings
associated with various languages.  I imagine this can be achieved using
regular RDF constructs, but it needs some careful thought.  Graham and
I tonight discussed the possibility of using XPath-based arcs to address
the monolingual substrings and to associate each with a language.

More difficult problems are posed by:

-  Text markup with control semantics, eg for BiDi.

-  Strings which encode neither human language text, nor a datatype such
   as a date or a floating point number.  An example is a mathematical
   equation (using MathML).  Then we have the mixed case of a human
   language string containing some embedded MathML, eg the title of a
   scientific paper.

[1] http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/InterpretationProperties.html

Misha






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Received on Sunday, 24 February 2002 20:37:22 EST

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