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Re: The first sentence

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 28 Oct 2002 16:50:00 -0600
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>, RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1035845411.24110.5503.camel@dirk>

On Mon, 2002-10-28 at 14:06, Brian McBride wrote:
> 
> At 13:11 28/10/2002 -0600, Aaron Swartz wrote:
> >>[[The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a language for representing 
> >>information in the Web.]]
> >
> >I hate to nitpick, but this isn't really true. RDF isn't a language, it's 
> >a framework.
> 
> I knew raising this was a bad idea when I did it.
> 
> Let me make the following points:
> 
>    1) We have more important things to worry about than this, so lets not 
> spend too much energy on it.

Hmm... I wonder.

Deployment of RDF has suffered from poor "marketing" as much as
anything else; getting agreement on item 1 for any RDF FAQ,
namely "What is RDF?" is quite valuable, in my estimation.

>    2) RDF is effectively defined by its abstract syntax and a model theory 
> therefore it is a language, or close enough for an introductory sentence.

I agree with Aaron on this: the Resource Description Framework
includes a languaged defined by an abstract syntax and model
theory, but the RDF/XML serialization is an integral part
of the framework too.

Yes, the RDF specs specify a language. But RDF *is* a framework.

>    3) If we are into "my text is better than yours" and arguments over 
> style, I don't think I've got the energy.  I've suggested it would be good 
> to have a common one sentence "RDF is ...".  I've made a 
> suggestion.  Hopefully we can at least all agree its not a data model.  If 
> any editor feels that his text is sufficiently better that it justifies 
> being different then just go ahead.

I'd like to enourage you, as series editor, to persue this a bit
further.

Eventually, we'll need to write a press release about RDF,
and it would be handy to have an agreed-upon "RDF is..."
sentence for that purpose. Maybe we won't get that far
in this discussion, but I think brainstorming about it
is pretty valuable.

I spent several hours coming up with this ditty for the RDF home
page:

"The Resource Description Framework (RDF) integrates a variety of
applications from library catalogs and world-wide directories to
syndication and aggregation of news, software, and content to personal
collections of music, photos, and events using XML as an interchange
syntax. "
	-- http://www.w3.org/RDF/

Unfortunately, that doesn't actually get around to saing what RDF is.
But maybe it provides some inspiration.

Somebody... danbri, I think, added to that "The RDF specifications 
provide a lightweight ontology system to support the exchange of
knowledge on the Web." which I don't care much for, but haven't
found inspiration to improve upon.


> 
> Brian
-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 28 October 2002 17:50:05 EST

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