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Re: better syntax effort - who could contribute?

From: Frank V. Castellucci <frankc@colconsulting.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 12:37:50 -0400
Message-ID: <39AE89DE.21D85099@colconsulting.com>
To: "McBride, Brian" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, RDF interest group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
I must admit that a confusion is starting to arise from the talk of
"syntax, syntax, and more syntax".

IMHO shouldn't this be approached from the point at which there is a
concurrence as to the goals? I mean, what is it we are looking for? To
answer that requires the stakeholder views, and to get that (not to
ignore this merry band of pranksters comments, but in all fairness they
hardly represent the universe of discourse when it comes down to it),
you need domain experts or at least an interview or two <grin>.

To say "to capture the ontology and associated semantics(constraints?)
of instance types of information" is a good start, and has been done
before (KL-ONE, Classic, Ontilingua, KIF - from the knowledge rep
domain). What can be learned from them as far as expression, or lack
thereof.

"McBride, Brian" wrote:
> 
> It is good to see some energy for moving RDF forward and I
> would be happy to commit to putting some effort into helping.
> 
> The other responses to your message are well taken.  I'm not
> sure that a new syntax effort can move forward on its own.
> It seems to me that there are three broad areas where remedial
> work is needed:
> 
>   o Resolution of issues about the RDF model arising
>     from the current specifications.  I would be concerned that
>     an effort on a new syntax could be derailed if the model it
>     is trying to represent is not clear.
> 
>   o Resolution of issues about the current syntax so that current
>     implementations can be more consistent.
> 
>   o Design of a simpler and more regular syntax, whilst protecting
>     the legacy investments that have already been made.
> 
> Implicit in the way I am thinking about this, is an assumption that
> it would be good to move towards a separation of the model and the
> syntax.
> 
> Brian McBride
> HPLabs
> 
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dan Brickley [mailto:danbri@w3.org]
> > Sent: 30 August 2000 17:38
> > To: Stefan Kokkelink
> > Cc: RDF interest group; Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN
> > Subject: RDF: better syntax effort - who could contribute?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > (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
> >
> >

-- 
Frank V. Castellucci
http://corelinux.sourceforge.net
OOA/OOD/C++ Standards and Guidelines for Linux
http://PythPat.sourceforge.net
Pythons Pattern Package
Received on Thursday, 31 August 2000 12:35:14 GMT

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