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Re: [closed] xmlsch-11 layering on xml

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@acm.org>
Date: 03 Oct 2003 22:22:18 +0200
To: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: W3C XML Schema IG <w3c-xml-schema-ig@w3.org>, www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <1065212537.5800.488.camel@michael.hit.uib.no>


thank you for your response to our comment.  A full account
of our formal responses to your responses is attached to
For the sake of those who are trying to track this particular issue
using the email archives, our response on this topic is given 

-C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
 for the XML Schema WG

On Tue, 2003-04-29 at 21:05, Dave Beckett wrote:
> Dear Colleagues
> The RDF Core WG has considered your last call comment captured in
>    http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/RDFCore/20030123-issues/#xmlsch-11
> (raised in section
>  "4.4. Normative specification of XML grammar (policy, substantive)" of
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-comments/2003JanMar/0489.html )
> The main points you raised in this comment are:
> 1) RDF/XML is defined in "what is very nearly a character-level BNF
>   [which] is at best a missed opportunity and at worst a serious
>   mistake." 
>     - obscuring important parts of the document type
>     - making it very difficult for the reader to actually
>       understand what is and isn't actually allowed.
>     - confusing layers
> RDF/XML is entirely layered on the XML Infoset as defined in
>   Syntax Data Model
>   http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-syntax-grammar/#section-Data-Model
> and is not defined at the character-level.
> All XML detail is handled by the XML specifications, not this
> document - deployed RDF/XML applications are entirely built on
> standard XML tools.  In layering on the XML infoset, we leave only
> the important parts of RDF/XML that users and application writers
> need be concerned about - elements, attributes, whitespace and text.
> It would have been a mistake to gloss over where, say, the whitespace
> was significant and where it was ignored - which was one problem with
> the original RDF M&S specification.
> 2) Rules out XML documents not parsed from character streams (such as DOM)
> This was explicitly called out:
>   [[
>     This model illustrates one way to create a representation of an
>     RDF Graph from an RDF/XML document. It does not mandate any
>     implementation method - any other method that results in a
>     representation of the same RDF Graph may be used.
>     In particular:
>     ...
> 	* This specification does not require the use of [XPATH] or [SAX2]
>   ]]
>   http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-syntax-grammar/#section-Data-Model
> If a DOM interface can provide the very few (4) XML Infoset Infoitems
> that are needed here, it is not ruled out.
> 3) Suggests a two-step approach first mapping to canonical RDF form
>    constrained by DTD or XML Schema
> An approach using a mapping to a canonical RDF written in XML is
> related to issue xmslch-10 where we explain why we didn't feel we
> could do this under the current charter.  It certainly would have
> been useful and helped.
> The model and grammar used here closely matches how many RDF/XML apps
> were written, in a token matching style that can be used with
> standard syntax lexers and grammar generators.  This approach has
> proved suitable after other implementor feedback.
> The RDF Core Working Group has decided:
>     http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-rdfcore-wg/2003Apr/0361.html
> that the explanation above answers your comment as a clarification.
> Please reply to this email, copying www-rdf-comments@w3.org indicating
> whether this decision is acceptable.
> Thanks
> Dave

Thank you.

We realize that this is a difficult area, but we believe that it would
be  a  mistake  for  W3C to move forward with a new version of the RDF
specifications  without  undertaking  the  work  of  a revision of the

We  regret  that we must dissent formally from your resolution of this
issue.  The  current mismatch between RDF syntax and off-the-shelf XML
tools  has  not  become  easier to bear as time goes on; we believe it
must be addressed.
Received on Friday, 3 October 2003 16:23:22 UTC

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