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Re: Comment on strings and languages in RDF

From: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 14:06:55 -0700
Message-ID: <3EE1026F.2030101@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
CC: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org, w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org, swick@w3.org

Martin Duerst wrote:
> 
> Dear RDF WG,
> 
> I have been actioned by the I18N WG (Core TF) to write to you.
> 
> This is partially a Last Call comment, and partially a comment
> on your recently announced post-Last Call changes.

Martin,

I'm not sure whether it matters, but with all due respect, this is not 
even partially a last call comment.  The window for submitting last call 
comments to RDFCore closed some time ago.  This is thus a post last call 
comment.

RDFCore is reviewing post last call comments and considering how to 
respond to them, so you can be assured that this comment will go through 
that process.

Brian

  It affects
> several of your specifications.
> 
> On its recent teleconference, the I18N WG (Core TF) agreed with
> my summary of the situation in
> http://www.w3.org/mid/4.2.0.58.J.20030605145023.06c05ce0@localhost.
> 
> In particular, we have looked at the current (both in the Last
> Call as well as in your later proposal) status of string and
> language handling in RDF literals (plain literals, XML literals,
> typed literals of XML Schema Datatype 'string').
> 
> The core arguments for our case are contained in the above email,
> but I'll copy them here for your easy reference:
> 
>  >>>>>>>>
> This situation is not at all satisfactory from the viewpoint
> of I18N because:
> - We have worked hard to eliminate artificial differences between
>   text strings that are essentially the same:
>   - by basing XML and RDF on Unicode, and therefore eliminating
>     differences in character encoding.
>   - by working on normalization (NFC) to reduce or avoid accidental
>     differences based on remaining encoding choices in Unicode
>   It would be very bad if after all that work, we were left with
>   gratuitously different ways of representing textual strings due
>   to idiosyncrasies of a type system.
> 
> - Language tagging is an important aspect of internationalization.
>   Also, small-scale markup is important for internationalization
>   (multilanguage strings, bidirectionality, ruby, glyph variants,...).
>   Both are in many ways natural extensions of plain text strings
>   as soon as markup is available.
> 
>   The current handling of XML literal strings without any actual
>   markup, as well as the recent change to ignore xml:lang on XML
>   literals, break this natural extension.
> 
>   In addition, the recent change to ignore xml:lang on XML
>   literals makes language tagging more tedious in the prevalent
>   case of monolingual or mostly monolingual data.
>  >>>>>>>>
> 
> 
> We think that this is a very important issue for RDF and I18N,
> and strongly urge you to find a better solution. We think the
> proposal given by Ralph is a very good start, but we are sure
> you will have other ideas.
> 
> 
> With kind regards,     Martin.
> 
Received on Friday, 6 June 2003 09:06:54 EDT

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