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Description/about doesn't mesh with typednode syntax

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 23:44:16 +0000
Message-ID: <36896950.575B674D@w3.org>
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org
I think Description and about play the wrong grammatical
roles in conventional usage compared to their role in RDF syntax.

The typednode syntax is cool;

	<Book>
		<title>...</title>
	</Book>

is a *lot* nicer than
	<RDF:Description RDF:Type="#Book">
		<title>...</title>
	</RDF:Description>

but it leads to odd idoms like:

	<Book about="http://www.amazon.com/...">
		<title>...</title>
	</Book>

which is not a book about that web page at all, but
the other way around!

another oddity:
	<Person about="http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/">
	 	...
	</Person>

or even:
	<PersonsHomePage about="http://www.w3.org/..." />

It would seem that the names that are currently
"Description" and "about"
as in "this XML element is a Description about the resource
at address http:..." should be chosen to fit
"this XML element describes a ___ whose ___ is http:..."
such as Resource and Address or Thing and Identifier.

Then you'd have

	<Person identifier="http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/" />

short for

	<RDF:Resource identifier="http://..." />

which seems much more parallel to me.

[At this point in the process, I was inclined not to send
this feedback. But... better to let the editors consider and
reject this idea than to not share it at all.[

-- 
Dan Connolly
http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 29 December 1998 18:38:37 GMT

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