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Re: Instant RDF

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 09:18:40 -0500
To: <Ora.Lassila@nokia.com>, RDF Interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B5CBEA70.178A2%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Ora.Lassila@nokia.com <Ora.Lassila@nokia.com> wrote:

>> Of course, the idea would be to write an XSLT add-on for
>> each XML format
> Hmm... OK, that's possible, but leads to an awful lot of XSLT.

Agreed, that's why I didn't say XSLT right away. I'd much rather use some
sort of lighter, faster format.

> Personally I am not opposed to a new RDF syntax (the current looks a bit
> like it was "designed by committee" :-). But ultimately the syntax shouldn't
> matter all that much since I am sure everyone is hoping that most of RDF
> will be both read and *written* by machines (not humans).

My proposal is that RDF should not have it's own syntax. Instead, the syntax
would be a format for extracting RDF statements from XML. We already have
XML -- a wonderful language for creating formats and descriptions of data --
why do we need to create another one, and lose out on all of XML's features?

If RDF is not its own format, but instead an adjunct to XML-based formats:

- we get to stop worrying over the "best" syntax, since everyone is able to
choose the right syntax for their needs

- we get to piggyback RDF off of the existing XML formats, speeding adoption

- and we allow people to create hybrid XML/RDF formats, which will make the
formats more popular since RDF tools are not as common as XML tools

Also, as Bill noted, there are humans writing RDF, especially with RSS
(which is what got me into this mess) and it would be a shame to try and
make things more difficult than necessary for them. There are also
programmers to worry about, and while you are generally able to convince
them to parse just about anything, it would be nice to try and make their
lives a little easier.

        Aaron Swartz         |"This information is top security.
<http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>|     When you have read it, destroy yourself."
  <http://www.theinfo.org/>  |             - Marshall McLuhan            
Received on Friday, 25 August 2000 10:19:00 UTC

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