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RDF: better syntax effort - who could contribute?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 12:38:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: Stefan Kokkelink <skokkeli@mathematik.uni-osnabrueck.de>
cc: RDF interest group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0008301208100.17260-100000@tux.w3.org>


(changed Subject from Re: M&S/Parser question)

On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Stefan Kokkelink wrote:

> There has been a lot of discussion on this list about
> the RDF syntax. Is there any clarification in sight
> whether there will be a more formalized description
> of the syntax or even a simplified one? (Or will nothing
> happen in the near future?) This would decrease the number 
> of mails on this list and we could focus on the interesting
> parts of RDF ....

Good question. Let's try to find out.

Who here has the time/effort available to contribute to such an
effort?  Aside: I'm being agnostic here w.r.t. process (ie. SAX-like email
based effort versus full-on W3C Working Group). 

We'd need people to boil down a list of existing issues, summarise
deployment problems with RDF 1.0 syntax, explore the new 'better than DTD'
syntax specification options now available (XML Schema, XSLT/Schematron
etc), look at (and liase with) other XML graph serialisation efforts (see 
Henrik's recent post contrasting RDF and SOAP models [1]). We'd need to
evaluate XLink-as-RDF. We'd probably be well advised to consider how the
XML syntax effort in the Topic Maps community relates to our goals for RDF. 
We'd need sanity-checking implementations (I believe there are two
or three rdf++ parsers already). We'd need to have a clearer sense of the
constraints on any such 'better' syntax -- for example RDF 1.0 uses XML
attributes to allow for syntactic inclusion of RDF within (X)HTML documents. 

In short, there's a lot of work to do. I'm looking for volunteers and 
cheerleaders here. A bunch of people have expressed a wish for a
new/better/cleaner syntactic representation of RDF. Others seem happy to
work at the RDF model layer, and are relatively unconcerned with syntactic
ugliness. When it comes down to it, I've no sense of how many RDF IG 
people would be around to work on the RDF syntax problem (nor, to be
honest, how much work there is to be done).

If enough people *do* want to work on this (and I hope that the above
list establishes there's a lot of work that might be done) we can talk
about how best we might organise this effort. 

So... an informal straw poll. Who here can commit some significant amount
of time to 'better RDF syntax' efforts? (having suggested this I should
stress that I've no idea how to interpret the results of this query, it's
summer, people are on vacation etc etc. this is very unscientific.).

Dan

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000Aug/0082.html
Received on Wednesday, 30 August 2000 12:38:25 GMT

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