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RE: Regarding new working drafts

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 17:40:24 -0600
To: "Brian McBride" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, <www-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Cc: <danbri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <AOEKLHGMHIHGNIBEDMNMMEGJDEAA.shelleyp@burningbird.net>

>
> >Can we consider this release of all of these documents to represent that
> >stick?
>
> Yes.  However, I cannot promise that anything new will only be considered
> by a future WG.  We have to respond to feedback on these
> documents, either
> now, at last call or even later.  However, the WG is done with the
> technical issues; it will take new information to re-open them.
>
> Subject to some editorial polishing and perhaps some minor technical
> tweaks, this is the proposal the WG will be recommending to the
> membership.
>

Brian, thanks for this. It was needed.

Now before I return to my article and the book I did want to say something:

You all did an excellent job with this specification, though I know I have
been impatient (at times) for these documents. Your effort borders on the
heroic when one considers that so many people seem to take such terrific
offense at there even being something such as RDF. "We have XML. What more
do we need", the pundits cry out at the drop of an angle bracket.

Yes, and IBM had IMS back in the 60's and 70's, and specifically told Codd
to stop screwing around with that new thing called a "relational data
model", because IMS was the way of the future. Silly man, look what he did?

I've read the threads over at xml.org and the ones associated with the
Technical Architecture Group's mailing list, and I'm absolutely puzzled and
confused at the animosity demonstrated towards RDF. If an organization
cannot see the need for RDF, or how to use it, no one is forcing them into
its use. The most anyone will suggest is that by using RDF, the organization
can take advantage of several very fine tools (and they are real, and I'm
using them now -- Python, PHP, Perl, and Java APIs at this very moment), and
a proven, standardized meta-data structure that allows the data to be
combined with other resources at some point if there's interest in doing so.

Unfortunately a few people, in a half-hearted manner, attempt to create an
RDF version of RDDL or something comparable, and when it comes out ugly,
everyone cries out, "See! RDF is broken!" That thud you hear is my jaw
dropping. Tell me this: isn't having someone who doesn't care for the
current RDF/XML serialization approach, attempt to use said approach as a
supposed proving ground for RDF's capability somewhat tantamount to throwing
a reformed fox into the hen house and telling it not to screw up?

(Excuse the feathers -- it's the hens fault!)

I am currently working on four separate applications that use RDF, both for
the book and my own purposes, and the use of RDF and the associated tools
has made my job so easy I feel like I'm cheating. And the more I work with
the tools and the data, the greedier I get. I've used the exact same code to
query people's different RDF files (FOAF, RSS 1.0, and others) with no code
changes. Amazing! Just like one can use RDBMS to store different types of
business data.

Now, who'd have thunk it?

Of course, my attitude is tainted, and I'm not a reformed fox. I'm just one
of the birds who happens to like RDF.

Great job, Brian, Dan, and the rest of the working group. Absolutely
incredible job. Thank you for making my job a whole lot easier.

Shelley
Received on Thursday, 14 November 2002 18:59:17 GMT

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