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RE: XML observation

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 13:01:18 +0300
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B02630179@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <gk@ninebynine.org>, <duerst@w3.org>, <phayes@ihmc.us>, <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org>



> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Graham Klyne [mailto:gk@ninebynine.org]
> Sent: 08 July, 2003 18:57
> To: Martin Duerst; pat hayes; w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
> Cc: w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: XML observation
> 
> 
> 
> At 10:01 08/07/03 -0400, Martin Duerst wrote:
> >>There a couple of other data I'd like to introduce:  in his 
> pre-last-call 
> >>review of the RDF concepts document, Tim Berners-Lee expressed some 
> >>concern about the "distinguished" nature of XML in RDF [1]. 
>  That was a 
> >>comment which was never really given a lot of attention 
> that I was aware 
> >>of, and is one which I personally agree.  Similar 
> sentiments have been 
> >>expressed in an exchange between Patrick and Peter 
> Patel-Schneider [2].
> >
> >I discussed this with Tim a few weeks ago. He was not aware of
> >the fact that you don't need an infoset to handle XML literals
> >in RDF.
> 
> Hmmm... I'm not sure what the implication of this may be.
> 
> RDF/XML syntax is (now) defined in terms of the XML infoset
> of the containing XML document.  So, I think, that suggests that
> XML literals in RDF/XML must likewise be defined.  Or maybe not,
> because RDF literals are defined (in some cases partly) in terms
> of the Unicode string that represents the literal.
> At best, it feels rather convoluted.

Again, it boils down to where you're intepreting the content.

The entire RDF/XML instance, including encapsulated XML literals,
is of course defined in terms of the infoset, and an RDF parser
has full access to all of the XML machinery when parsing an RDF/XML
instance.

But the RDF graph, and XML literals as fragments, are not
defined in terms of the infoset.

It's only convoluted if you try to consume RDF knowledge
based on RDF/XML rather than the graph.

> >And the inclusion of XML literals in RDF is not a mistake, it's
> >important for i18n reasons. I feel it's terribly sad that this
> >gets ignored here time and again.
> 
> You don't quite say this, but this suggests the purpose of XML
> literals in RDF is for I18N.  If so, this would be the first time
> I've heard that suggested.
> 
> This is very suggestive of the role of XML as text-with-markup, and
> to my mind does little to square that role with 
> XML-for-arbitrary-data.
> I find this lack of clarity about the role of XML to be 
> really unsettling,
> because, as Pat has pointed out, there are some real tensions here.

I'm not surprised that I18N would have a view of XML that
is tightly focused on natural language text. But I would be
surprised, and like Graham concerned, if the members of the I18N
WG would not appreciate that the focus of I18N constitutes a
subset of XML usage, not the entire scope of XML usage.

> (Hmmm... general W3C process point:
> given I18N is regarded as so fundamental, I think the purpose would be
> better served by having I18N *participation* from the beginning, or
> at the beginning, not occasional reviews later in the process.)

It would also be good, as has been suggested a few times
recently, that the TAG would be called in to clarify this
tension between the use of XML for markup of natural language
content versus the use of XML for markup of data structures.

Patrick
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2003 06:01:22 EDT

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