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rdfms-resource-semantics

From: Lee Jonas <lee.jonas@cakehouse.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 17:04:55 +0100
Message-ID: <51ED29F31E20D411AAFD00105A4CD7A7712E@ZINGIBER>
To: "'www-rdf-comments@w3.org'" <www-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Just glancing through the archives of the www-rdf-core mailing list and a
thought suddenly occurred to me:

Why bother defining a special RDF notion of 'resource'?  After all, it
conflicts with the definition in RFC2396 causing much confusion and a
special RDF definition of 'resource' is probably unnecessary anyway.

Rather than shoehorn the notion of 'resource' into what the RDF M&S spec
requires as a primary building block, you could turn the problem around and
define RDF M&S in the existing terms of RFC2396.  Within RDF M&S:

1) Describe RFC2396 as 'normative'.
2) substitute all occurrences of the word 'resource' for the word
'reference' (or something similiar).
3) define 'references' as the union of URI references and anonymous
constructs.
4) refer readers to RFC2396 for the URI reference definition.

That way, RDF's 4 sets become 'Statements', 'Literals', 'References' and
'Properties'.

This has the following plus points:
1) it avoids the name collision with RFC2396 resources altogether (rather
than having to explain a special interpretation of 'resource').
2) it integrates RDF better with existing web technologies, adopting
standard semantics for URIs and network entities.
3) it shifts the emphasis of RDF to the description of resource views /
parts of resources (i.e. fragments).  (But, who cares whether metadata
assertions are about RDF resources or RFC2396 resource views technically -
in practise they still have the same effect).
4) RDF can still be considered 'Resource Description' - only now it is
description of resources and their views/parts in the RFC2396 sense.
5) It won't break existing applications - the RDF syntax won't change as
'Resource' is not part of the language.  It could even be considered just an
editorial fix to the spec.

Note that RDF Schema would be more significantly affected (not that much),
but as this is not a Recommendation and is less widely relied on by current
RDF applications, it may be an acceptible cost.

Just a thought!

Lee

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end
Received on Friday, 1 June 2001 12:05:20 GMT

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