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RE: A Rough Guide to Notation3

From: Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 01:09:30 +0200
To: "Dave Beckett" <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>, "Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EBEPLGMHCDOJJJPCFHEFAEEJHJAA.danny666@virgilio.it>


>> I agree. That's why I think it is strange to say that RDF/XML is "not
>> designed for human consumption." It would be a terrible mistake to
>> create a web standard in 2002 and not design for human consumption.
>> Making it ALSO inefficient would compound the mistake.
>
>It wasn't me who said that, and I don't agree with it.  RDF was
>created in 1998/1999, just after XML and we are revising now, not
>replacing.  This format is no more inefficient than XML used in any
>other specification.  It is an XML format, which is easy to read
>about in any bookstore and it is trivial to find good XML tools that
>can help with your efficiency claims.

I said something very similar to the quote above in this thread ("[RDF/XML]
isn't *intended* for human consumption.") and factually I might be out on a
limb - but whatever the design or intention, the end result isn't exactly
humanly digestible. Ok, maybe it does scrape through XML's "human-legible
and reasonably clear", but it's interesting that virtually every XML/RDF
example in the M&S spec is illustrated with a diagram, and the fact that
people have put a lot of effort into n3 is suggestive too.

Given that the problem RDF is intended (or even designed) to solve is one of
machine understanding rather than human legibility (that being fairly well
covered by various other languages), I would think it reasonable to expect
the primary focus to be in this area. Around the point I was trying to make
regarding the possible negative effects of n3 is the feeling that if the RDF
design job was done well, then there would be no need at all for the
language to be human-readable anyway (I happen to believe the design for the
specs is being done remarkably well).
After all, what good are computers if they can't read metadata for us?

Cheers,
Danny.
Received on Friday, 23 August 2002 19:19:10 GMT

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