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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:
>>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 
>>[[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 Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Tuesday, 5 November 2002 08:17:34 UTC

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