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Re: other rdf:nodeID name thoughts

From: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 11:44:37 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>, Bill Kearney <wkearney99@hotmail.com>
Cc: www-rdf-comments@w3.org


May I remind you that this mailing list is for formal communications with 
the RDFCore WG. It is not a general discussion list, and when you use it is 
as such it makes the task of the WG more difficult.

As I have said before, if you find yourself replying to a message on this 
list that is not from a WG member, you should be thinking carefully about 
whether this is the right forum.


At 15:56 19/01/2003 -0800, Garret Wilson wrote:

>Thanks for the reply, Bill. Let me give a more concrete explanation.
>I'm editor of the XPackage specification ( www.xpackage.org ), which is be 
>used for describing such information as an HTML document's MIME type, the 
>files that need to be transmitted along with that document, its 
>stylesheets, its images, its image fallback information, etc. People in 
>the Open eBook Forum have had huge RDF backlash (the issue is still being 
>debated), in part because of the special syntax RDF requires. Many think 
>that forcing users to think about some deeper RDF framework will impede 
>acceptance of the next OEB packaging specification.
>I've managed to get XPackage so that it's pretty intuitive to be used for 
>OEB packaging without a knowledge of RDF. And even non-RDF-aware eBook 
>authors can live with an rdf:resource sprinkled here and there in the OEB 
>package file---it's intuitive to explain even to non-computer users (or a 
>tool implementor) that the book and each of its images are "resources" 
>that go into building the entire book. But "nodes"? Once we get past the 
>lymphatic system-related questions, explaining a directed graph 
>representation of their book assumes users know something about 
>graph/tree/network theory and terminology.
>I guess it comes down to the fact that even if RDF didn't exist, a book 
>would be a resource, as would be an image, as would be a stylesheet, etc. 
>But these things only become "nodes" when interpreted in light of the RDF 
>framework---specifically the graphical representation of that framework.
>What we're really talking about when discussing rdf:nodeID is a temporary 
>identifier that allows relationships between resources to be described. 
>The resources participating in those relationships become "nodes" only 
>when considered in the context of a graph. If only "temporary identifier 
>within the scope of this document for the purpose of describing 
>relationships" weren't so long, it might be a fitting attribute name. ;)
>Bill Kearney wrote:
>>Is this any more complicated that using the word 'resource'?
>>I'd have to think that opening the door into graph theory by using the nodeID
>>name would be a *good* thing.  If just for the purpose of letting folks know
>>there's a larger set of concepts out there that might be worth investigating.
>>We could just as easily call the thing rdf:hamsandwich.  But we're not 
>>trying to
>>get a deli schema going so the use of that wording wouldn't be all that 
>>Not getting into graph theory is one thing.  Taking steps to blindly lead 
>>away from it is another entirely.  Once people grasp what the terms mean it's
>>not really all that important what they're called.
>>I dislike 'local' in that it raises questions like server/client-side 
>>binding and what not.  Likewise for 'internal'.
>>-Bill Kearney
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: "Garret Wilson" <garret@globalmentor.com>
>>To: <www-rdf-comments@w3.org>
>>Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2003 2:37 PM
>>Subject: other rdf:nodeID name thoughts
>>>I'm thinking of specifications built on top of RDF that may try to hide
>>>technical details of RDF from the user. rdf:about and rdf:reference did
>>>that somewhat by talking about relationships between *resources*, but
>>>the name "rdf:nodeID" presupposes a knowledge of some graphical
>>>representation of RDF---relationships between nodes in a graph.
>>>Has anyone proposed other names for rdf:nodeID just to be user-friendly,
>>>such as one of the following?
>>>The only one I really like is rdf:localID. The rest don't seem to work,
>>>but then rdf:nodeID doesn't seem quite right, either.
Received on Monday, 20 January 2003 06:44:46 UTC

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