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Re: RDF Use Case: scraping metadata from the web

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 16:43:43 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Patrick Stickler" <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, "Brian McBride" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "rdf core" <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>, "i18n" <w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org>

Hello Patrick,

At 17:24 03/08/05 +0300, Patrick Stickler wrote:

>I appreciate the position you present in the post below, but
>I must stress the point that the problem you present is a
>general problem relating to working with XML fragments, no
>matter what the context, and *not* a problem with RDF, nor
>a problem for RDF to fix.
>By saying this, I do not mean to suggest that the problem is
>not important to solve. It is. But not by RDF, and while we
>have bent over backwards to try to figure out some way to
>lessen the problem insofar as RDF is concerned, we have not
>come up with any solution that, all things considered, is
>better than what is now on the table and reflected in the
>latest editors drafts.
>Anytime an XML user wishes to deal with anything smaller than
>a complete XML instance, they will encounter these sorts of
>issues. RDF is not creating this problem.
>If RDF were to provide one solution, then that would simply
>be inconsistent with another solution provided for some other
>context. You seem to be big on having consistent treatment,
>so it puzzles me that you would seek so specialized a solution
>by RDF specifically.

RDF has a custom solution for plain literals.
The same solution would work for XML Literals,
and was in the last call document. There is a difference
between asking to keep some consistency in the current
(up to Last Call) design, and bringing in new consistency
requirements at this late stage.

I18N doesn't want to require RDF to solve all XML problems.
But we obviously care about a good solution for
language information.

>You appear to be asking us to make RDF inferior for SW purposes
>in order to address this problem, just a little bit, insofar as
>RDF alone is concerned, for the sake of some indeterminable
>number of XML users.
>Let's not try to treat the symptoms rather than find a cure.

If we had a cure, that would be fine. Currently, we
don't. And we don't want the patient to feel pain
(or loose a limb), so we prefer treating the symptoms
to doing nothing. I'm sure if you were the patient,
you would want to do the same.

>Let the XML folks tell XML users how to deal with this
>problem in a *general* way when dealing with XML fragments
>irregardless of the language of encapsulation.
>E.g., have someone dust off the XML Fragment Interchange [1]
>spec, make sure it does the right things, and then tell
>folks use it *everywhere* they deal with XML fragments, including
>with RDF.

We wouldn't mind if that happened. When we met originally
with RDF Core, we were told about the problem that is
now solved by xml:lang=''. We carefully did our homework
and solved this problem. If we had been told 1.5 years
ago that RDF needs a complete solution for XML fragments,
then we could have tried to contribute to that solution.
Now it's too late for this, I guess.

>RDF is not going to be able to solve this general XML problem.
>Certainly not at this point, given the fact that we should have
>been finished with all this stuff well over a *year* ago!
>Can we *please* stop spinning our wheels on this and move one?

I would definitely like to. Of course, one easy solution
would be to move back to the Last Call stage, or choose
a solution that is closer to Last Call than the one we
currently have.

Regards,    Martin.
Received on Thursday, 7 August 2003 16:52:08 UTC

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