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RDF literals and datatypes

From: Graham Klyne <GK@NineByNine.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 11:57:54 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: RDF core WG <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

I'm going take a moment to peddle (as in forward-pedal) Jeremy's position 
on datatypes and literals:

There are two points I'd like to make:  one constructive and one rebuttal.

1. We did receive the following comment on the last working draft 
expressing concern about the special status of XML with regard to RDF:
I have to say I have a problem with RDF being tied to always have to have 
an XML literal as a base type. This breaks layering - and level breaking 
features should I believe be left for another layer. You should not require 
any RDF machine to have to include an XML infoset system. The choice of XML 
syntax was supposed to be an enginering but arbitrary choice.
-- http://www.w3.org/2002/07/29-rdfcadm-tbl.html

I think Jeremy's treatment of literals is a reasonable way of addressing 
this, since it shows XML as a first among equals rather than an outright 
special case.  It also provides
a basis for dealing with XML literals without requiring an XML infoset 
system to be present.

(My only reservation is that I'm not sure about the need for 
canonicalization here... but that's a point which is independent of the 
approach taken.)

2. Jeremy's proposal has been criticized as changing the XML schema 
datatyping model.  I don't think such criticism is well-founded.

I've now reviewed Jeremy's text, and I think it is quite careful NOT to 
change the XML schema datatyping model.  Rather, it takes the RDF concept 
of a literal, which is necessarily broader than XML schema's concept of a 
lexical form, and explains what parts of that literal are used by an XML 
schema datatype mapping.

(I did notice one small edit I'd make to reinforce this approach.)


Graham Klyne
Received on Friday, 25 October 2002 06:41:28 UTC

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