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Re: rdf-ns-prefix-confusion

From: Barstow Art (NMP/Boston) <Art.Barstow@nokia.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 15:43:03 -0500
Message-ID: <5C76D29CD0FA3143896D08BB1743296A2A09E5@bsebe001.NOE.Nokia.com>
To: <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Hi Dave,

Although I was part of the RDF Core WG when the WG "resolved"
this issue and with my truth-and-beauty hat on I still agree
with that decision:

 [1] http://www.w3.org/2000/11/mr76/rdfc25May.html

I think Uche has a very legitimate concern wrt backward
compatibility.

In:

 [2]
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2002Jan/0119.html

you said:

> This update was made by the working group in May 2001 and I think we
> would need substantial evidence of why this resolution was a big
> problem before we would revisit it.

and I think you provide the basis for "substantial evidence" in [2] 
by noting:

> In addition, the RDF M&S document itself mixed the use of unprefixed
> and rdf:-prefixed attributes despite only the former being allowed in
> the BNF grammar.  Examples:
>    'about' most places except 7.5 example.
>    'rdf:parseType' used throughout
>    'rdf:resource' mixed used throughout

Since the examples in M&S are normative [the spec doesn't say 
otherwise] and the aboutAttr rule (as well as several other rules)
does not have a namespace prefix for the about attribute, it seems
reasonable to expect that lots of RDF/XML will not have namespace 
prefixes for the RDF attributes (especially within RDF elements 
like Description).

Given the small amount of RDF/XML that exists today, it seems like
it would be in RDF's best interest for RDF/XML processors to be 
lenient here and to accept any RDF/XML that follows the examples
in M&S.

Given the WG's charter:

 [3] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/RDFCoreWGCharter

includes the following in its Requirements:

 [[
 Backwards compatibility with existing RDF applications is a priority 
 for the RDF Core Working Group
 ]]

perhaps a black and white decsion on this issue isn't particularly
good and some backward compatibility statement should be made.

Art Barstow
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Received on Monday, 14 January 2002 15:43:06 GMT

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