W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > March 2002

RE: lang and safe sex

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 12:01:07 -0000
To: "Patrick Stickler" <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, "RDF Core" <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JAEBJCLMIFLKLOJGMELDMECJCDAA.jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>

I thought Patrick's message was going to have reference to "turvy sex"-fi
(sp?)which I believe translates as "cheers"-en; or "sex"-la (latin) that I
seem to remember is "six"-en.

I propose that RDF Core reports an issue with xml:lang to XML Core, that the
value "" is not supported with Patrick's proposed semantics for it.

I do not support the full scope of Patrick's e-mail since it significantly
changes pre-existing documents, although I believe he might be able to add
DTD information to any documents he wants to change in this way.


Jeremy

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-rdfcore-wg-request@w3.org
> [mailto:w3c-rdfcore-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Patrick Stickler
> Sent: 04 March 2002 11:35
> To: RDF Core
> Subject: xml:lang and safe sex
>
>
>
>
> I fully agree with Jeremy's comments about xml:lang and RDF literals in
>
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-rdfcore-wg/2002Mar/0017.html
>
> and that all WG decisions to date reflected therein should be upheld.
>
>
> That said...   ;-)
>
> Unfortunately, there are certain aspects of xml:lang usage in the
> context of RDF and similar markup languages such as MathML which
> can be considered non-intuitive at best and misleading and incorrect
> at worst.
>
> Traditionally, XML was intended for, and has been used primarily
> with linguistic content. The behavior of xml:lang inheritance seems
> intuitively correct in such a context. However, in cases of markup
> languages which entirely or predominantly describe non-linguistic
> content, such as MathML and most RDF applications, the presently
> defined, all encompassing nature of xml:lang does not seem to work
> in an optimal manner.
>
> As Misha so colorfully put it, "xml:lang is like the HIV virus",
> when it is inserted into an element, it infects every part of the
> instance within its scope. What we need for applications such as
> MathML and RDF is a kind of "condom" to prevent infection.
>
> One possible such condom would be the standardized interpretation
> of xml:lang="" as turning off any superordinate language qualification.
>
> Although many folks (myself included) seem to consider that such an
> interpretation is "obvious", it actually doesn't appear to have any
> official standing, and an errata or note of some sort may be needed to
> standardize it.
>
> Given such a standardized method of blocking inheritance of language
> qualification from superordinate element scope, markup languages
> which entirely or predominantly describe non-linguistic content
> may either explicitly or implicitly define a default value of ""
> for the xml:lang attribute for all or most of their
> elements; in which case, xml:lang would only apply to the minimal
> rather than maximal scope, and an element with such a default
> would neither be "infected" by its parent element scope nor pass on
> any such "infection" to its sub-elements.
>
> Of course, such a treatment does not prohibit one to use xml:lang
> wherever it is relevant, and use of xml:lang with clearly linguistic
> properties such as rdfs:label, rdfs:comment, etc. is to be strongly
> encouraged; but such language qualifications must be explicitly
> specified for each case.
>
> In the case of RDF/XML, all elements would be considered to have
> an implicitly defined  default value of "" for xml:lang so that
> language inheritance is limited to the minimal scope as defined
> above.
>
> This means that when folks write
>
> <rdf:RDF ... xml:lang="en">
> <rdf:Description rdf:about="#Bob">
>     <age>35</age>
> </rdf:Description>
> <rdf:Description rdf:about="#age">
>    <rdfs:label>Age</rdfs:label>
>    <rdfs:label xml:lang="fi">Ikä</rdfs:label>
> </rdf:Description>
> </rdf:RDF>
>
> we get
>
> Bob age "35" .
> age rdfs:label "Age" .
> age rdfs:label "Ikä"-fi .
>
> and not
>
> Bob age "35"-en .
> age rdfs:label "Age"-en" .
> age rdfs:label "Ikä"-fi .
>
> The above RDF/XML would actually be considered to be equivalent to
> the more explicit
>
> <rdf:RDF ... xml:lang="en">
> <rdf:Description rdf:about="#Bob" xml:lang="">
>     <age xml:lang="">35</age>
> </rdf:Description>
> <rdf:Description rdf:about="#age" xml:lang="">
>    <rdfs:label xml:lang="">Age</rdfs:label>
>    <rdfs:label xml:lang="fi">Ikä</rdfs:label>
> </rdf:Description>
> </rdf:RDF>
>
> So, folks *can* still say in RDF that "35" is English if they really,
> really want to ;-) but the default treatment would be that RDF literals
> are not qualified for language unless explicitly specified on a literal
> by literal basis.
>
> And if language is specified, then we expect literal equality matching
> to take that into account, as defined by Jeremy's proposed matching
> algorithm, but language qualified literals of inherently non-linguistic
> content will be the rare exception rather than the norm.
>
> Eh?
>
> PS: An alternative to xml:lang="" is Jeremy's proposal to consider
> xml:lang="*" based on RFC 3066 as the default for literals unspecified
> for language. And it seems like that would accomplish the same thing.
> Which is chosen may just boil down to a matter of taste, as to whether
> "no language" or "all languages" seems more intuitively correct to
> say about e.g. a numeral.
>
> Patrick
>
> --
>
> Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
> Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
> Nokia Research Center         Email: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
>
>
>
>
Received on Monday, 4 March 2002 08:42:01 EST

This archive was generated by hypermail pre-2.1.9 : Wednesday, 3 September 2003 09:46:13 EDT