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RDF model theory is now underspecified

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 12:24:31 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20030818.122431.65368126.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org

The current editor's draft of RDF Syntax
(http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/RDFCore/TR/WD-rdf-syntax-grammar-20030117/
dated 18 August 2003) contains the following new wording in a normative
note within Section 6.1.9

  During input processing of XML Schema Datatypes within RDF,
  software MAY apply the appropriate whitespace normalization
  immediately before the lexical to value mapping, and MAY produce a
  warning if any whitespace is changed in this normalization.

Although ``input processing ... immediately before the lexical to value
mapping'' is not particularly well defined, I take this to mean that the
RDF Graph corresponding to

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"
         xmlns:eg="http://example.org/">

  <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.example.org/a">
    <eg:prop rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#int"> 3 </eg:prop>
  </rdf:Description>

</rdf:RDF>

remains unchanged as 

<http://www.example.org/a> <http://example.org/prop> " 3 "^^<http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#int> .

However, it appears to me that this note means that the RDF model theory is
now underspecified, as RDF software, including software that computes
entailments, may choose to treat 
	" 3 "^^<http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#int> 
as denoting the integer three instead of some non-literal.  

I view this change as undesirable.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Received on Monday, 18 August 2003 12:24:43 GMT

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