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Re: N3 and N-Triples (was: RDF in HTML: Approaches)

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 14:17:08 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
cc: <me@aaronsw.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206031350460.545-100000@tux.w3.org>

On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:

>
> From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
> Subject: N3 and N-Triples (was: RDF in HTML: Approaches)
> Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 11:42:58 -0500
>
> >
> > On Monday, June 3, 2002, at 01:41  AM, Patrick Stickler wrote:
> > > I would, thus, not like to see any N3 or NTriples used as primary
> > > representations for RDF that are interchanged by real systems.
> > > N3 and NTriples are not standard encodings for interchange. RDF/XML
> > > is. And that's what folks should be using in a global context.
> >
> > Ugh, what FUD. N-Triples is the only decent standardized interchange
> > format for RDF. RDF/XML is both difficult for machines to parse and for
> > humans to write. N-Triples at least gets one side of the equation right
> > (N3 gets the other).
> >
> > Perhaps we will be more "interoperable" if we stick with RDF/XML, but I
> > think that's rather meaningless since it will only be adopted by the
> > tiny community we already have. If we want more people to adopt RDF
> > we're going to have accept that the old syntax is flawed and move on.
> >
> > --
> > Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com]
>
> In other words,
>
> ``Let's move even further from the other W3C standards.''

Quite!

N-Triples is very handy for testing parsers, and quick-hack pipes
into Perl scripts. But it is unreadably verbose, impossible to skim
accurately, and not integrated into the rest of the XML-oriented modern
world. Promoting N-Triples as the best way of exchanging RDF in the wild
is bad for RDF, bad for XML, and bad for Web interop.

Aaron, I understand that you don't like the RDF/XML syntax, but please
keep some perspective in your critiques. It is nowhere near as bad as you
make out. There are parsers available in most every language, and a
cleaned up syntax and test cases that make these more reliable.

The Web community, and the entire computing industry, have settled on XML
as a basis for data interchange. Maybe they're wrong, but that's a battle
no longer worth fighting. Dragging RDF further still from the XML
mainstream would be extremely ill-advised.

Dan


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Received on Monday, 3 June 2002 14:18:09 GMT

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