W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2001

RE: Common Metadata (was:RE: RDF in XHTML)

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 11:08:45 +0600
To: "RDFInterest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

<- But I don't have any feeling for what it is that you want to
<- actually DO. What are you trying to do with those documents and
<- metadata? What problem are you trying to solve?

I want to be able to make the documents available online in a form that
other can access with ease.

<- A very common problem is to search a collection of documents
<- by author and publisher. In that case, why not have a RDBMS
<- that gets loaded up with author, title, and publisher info?
<- That is not RDF, but the point is to solve problems, not
<- exercise technologies gratuitously.

I should have made myself clearer - I'm talking in the Semantic Web context
with the data & metadata will be exposed. If I just want the stuff in a
database then I'll just put the stuff in a database.

<- Another scenario might be that you want to provide those 10k
<- documents to someone else. In that case, you might send the
<- documents and an RDF description of each (generating the RDF
<- descriptions out of the database mentioned above). The receiver
<- can then parse the descriptions and import their content into
<- their own database. Wasteful of bytes being transferred? Yes.
<- Simple to implement and understand? Yes.
<- So, unless I am working on a problem where the cost of
<- transferring bytes is higher than the cost of programming,
<- I'd do it the simple way.

Yes, fair enough. So the simple way has a high cost in bytes. The system is
at the early stages of development, why not reduce the cost of the simple
way at this stage. Why build a wasteful system?

<- > The model for what's ideally needed is multiple inheritance,
<- or at least
<- > something approaching this.
<- "Needed" to do what?  It sounds to me like you want to
<- be able to describe things using the minimum number of statements.
<- That is a fine thing to want to do, but it seems like a
<- "nice to have" rather than a "must have" for any applications
<- that I am currently looking at.

I just think it might be worth considering. We don't *need* any of this IT
stuff. Or taking an intermediate line - there are a great many applications
that can be built using the BASIC programming language, why should we bother
with these object things?
We can solve problems one at a time, or we can make extensible tools that
will allow us to solve a whole load of them, and be better prepared for
tomorrows problems - using good design methodologies means this needn't be
any extra effort.

<- The hardest part about RDF is clearly identifying the problem
<- you want to solve, and distinguishing it from related problems
<- that you don't need to solve. RDF is a means to an end, not an
<- end in itself.

In my analogy there were 2 approaches, one of which would mean potentially a
1000-fold reduction in the number of bytes wasted. Ok, let me add a factor
to that analogy - I've got limited bandwidth. There, now the efficiency has
a bearing. It may be that bandwidth is a consideration in the real world
Received on Sunday, 22 April 2001 01:13:39 UTC

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