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Re: comments on primer so far

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 08:33:55 -0500
Message-ID: <3DC7C8C3.7040108@mitre.org>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

Dan Connolly wrote:

> On Mon, 2002-11-04 at 20:24, Frank Manola wrote:
> 
>>Brian--
>>
>>
>>Some comments on your comments (I'm not going to comment on all of them, 
>>  just the ones where I either question the call, would like some more 
>>input, or otherwise feel like wrangling about):
>>
>>Section 1:
>>[[If you were to allow me one silver bullet, one stylistic change you 
>>made just because I asked for it, it would be this one(he says not 
>>having read the rest of the document yet.) The first time a reader sees 
>>RDF they should see a graph, not RDF/XML.
>>
> 
> I wonder...
> 
> I think a hello-world RDF/XML document on the first page is pretty
> darned important. Maybe a graph right next to it is best.


Good idea.  This lets us emphasize the graph model right away, as well 
as illustrate the XML.


> 
> 
>>For me, it is very important 
>>to get the reader thinking about graphs, not XML, right from the get 
>>go.]] (Brian's comments are deliminted by [[ ]]  )
>>
>>I understand your point.  The problem is that we've just got through 
>>talking about how useful RDF is for expressing information so it can be 
>>exchanged between applications, and so on.  While the model/abstract 
>>syntax is a graph, the only way the graph can be exchanged between 
>>applications is to write them down, and the normative syntax for doing 
>>that is RDF/XML.  I really do understand that the graph is the "essence" 
>>  of RDF;  but it seems to me that at this point (where we say we're 
>>going to be "concrete"), we want to show folks how they're actually 
>>going to be writing stuff down.
>>
> 
> [...]
> 
> 
>>[[This section on URI's seems like a big barrier to the reader early on. 
>>I'd expect a primer to introduce stuff more gradually. In style, this is 
>>beginning to feel more like a text book than a primer]]
>>
>>I understand.  The problem is that:
>>
>>a. URIs are really fundamental;  if they don't understand that, it's 
>>hard to make a number of subsequent points in sec. 2.3 (e.g., about 
>>shared references and stuff)
>>
> 
> Er... if they don't understand URIs, I think they got on
> the wrong bus; they need to go learn about URIs somewhere
> and come back.


I'll try a major cut of this material (may not get done this week 
though).  I still think we need to illustrate the connection between 
URIs and names of things, but I now have the Concepts document to point 
to for some details (like whether we're really using URIrefs or not; 
what are we calling these things again?)


> 
> 
>>b. without having introduced fragments, and without having introduced 
>>namespaces (in the maybe-to-be-deleted XML section), it's hard to 
>>introduce the QName abbreviation for triples,
>>
> 
> I don't see why somebody has to understand fragments to understand
> qnames; they just need to grok concatenation.
> 
> 
>>which means we have to 
>>write them all out (and the Primer was supposed to introduce this 
>>abbreviation).
>>
>>[[Do we really need this about XML? Is a basic understanding of XML a 
>>requirement on the reader?]]
>>
>>Maybe not, and DanC complained about that too.  On the other hand, it's 
>>only a page,
>>
> 
> ONLY a page?!?!?
> 
> Each page is precious. If there's ANY way you can squeeze
> a page out of the document without losing, say, 1/3rd
> of your audience, I think you should.
> 
> I think you're not going to lose 1/10th of your audience
> by getting rid of this page of material; anybody
> who doesn't know what tags and attributes are
> has gotten on the wrong bus.
> 
> 
>>and as I said, I need (or at least I think I do) to 
>>introduce the namespace stuff somewhere, and that's half of the XML 
>>section.  What do you suggest?
>>
> 
> Just assume working knowledge of XML and namespaces.
> Cite the specs and some introductory articles
> if you like.
> 
> I collected some "what you really need to know" citations
> at the bottom of http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/WebOnt/ .
> 
> e.g.         *  XML Tutorial 1: Well-Formed XML Documents
>           by Bonnie SooHoo Aug. 4, 2000 in webreview.com
> 


Or maybe put some short material in a "minimalist survival guide" 
Appendix, as the DAML+OIL annotated markup did for both XML and RDF (and 
point to these introductory articles from there)?  Maybe some of the URI 
material can go here too?

--Frank

 


-- 
Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2002 08:17:34 EST

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