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Re: RDF: better syntax effort - who could contribute?

From: Graham Klyne <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 10:38:48 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: RDF interest group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 12:38 PM 8/30/00 -0400, Dan Brickley wrote:

>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.).

First, I'll agree that there are problems with some aspects of current RDF 
syntax, many in the area of confusing newcomers to the topic.

Second, I'm not sure that we (collectively) know enough about RDF usage to 
define the "perfect" syntax for RDF.  For myself, I'm not even fully 
convinced that the ideal RDF exchange syntax should be XML-based (shock! 

Third, while I think it clearly desirable to have a common RDF syntax for 
exchanging model data between systems, I'm not sure that a common syntax is 
needed for other purposes, such as capturing model data.  "Scraping" 
information from other data formats seems a fair way to tackle many of 
these other issues.

For myself, I'm interested in learning to use the RDF abstractions to model 
real-world objects and ideas (and I am hoping to circulate some ideas 
soon).  I think this is the real challenge for RDF.  When we have some 
common understanding and consensus of how to model various types of 
information, I think it may be easier to select a syntax (or syntaxes) for 
exchanging that information.


Graham Klyne
Received on Thursday, 31 August 2000 05:46:05 UTC

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