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Re: XML Schema vs DAML/RDF/RDFS

From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 21:51:18 -0600
Message-Id: <200204220351.g3M3pIR30797@localhost.localdomain>
To: "R.V.Guha" <guha@guha.com>
cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> 
> I was talking yesterday to a friend whose is working with
> some geologists who want to share data. They are of
> course planning on using xml and are in the process
> of writing up their xml schemas.
> 
> They have applications that do all kinds of sophisticated analysis
> on this data. They have no need of doing the kinds of inferences
> that rdfs/daml enables. Their apps do computations that are far
> more complex and it would be easy for them to modify their
> apps to make it do the few (if any) inferential facilities rdfs/daml
> offers, if the need arises.
> 
> I tried to make a case for  rdf/rdfs/daml, but given the
> substantially more tools available for xml/xml schema and their
> lack of interest in simple inferences, I couldn't in good faith push
> too hard for rdf/rdfs/daml.
> 
> So, should they be using rdfs/daml? Why?

I don't have much time, but this topic is pretty important to me, so some 
brief observations.

I agree with Ashok that focus on the RDF/XML syntax has been harmful.  In my 
own practice, I prefer to allow people to use XML that makes sense and then 
extract RDF from key "fields".  In fact, this is such a common practice for us 
at Fourthought, that we built a system into 4Suite for using straight XPath
or full XSLT  for maintaining synchronized mappings between XML files and
their RDF  extractions in the model.  We do this by creating a virtual 
partition in the model, the domain (perhaps a poor name: this is similar to 
what others call a scope or context), which does not establish a query 
boundary, but rather a maintenance boundary.

But that's just a technical detail.  Whatever system is used for it, I think 
RDF loses if we insist that people stick to the syntax in M&S and its 
successors.  The model is the thing, and we should give people the tools they 
need to treat RDF merely as a valuable view on their XML (or even UML/MOF or 
RDBMS) data.


-- 
Uche Ogbuji                           Fourthought, Inc.
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com           http://fourthought.com
http://4Suite.org                     http://uche.ogbuji.net
Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
http://www.xmlconference.com/
RDF Query using Versa - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-thi
nk10/index.html
WSDL and the Wild, Wild West - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 
http://www.xmleurope.com/2002/kttrack.asp#themodel
Received on Monday, 22 April 2002 00:21:07 GMT

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