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Re: Why is RDF such a tough sell?

From: <MDaconta@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 13:27:24 EDT
Message-ID: <13d.1070ab64.2a4b537c@aol.com>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

In a message dated 6/25/02 2:01:42 PM US Mountain Standard Time, 
rhoads@thrupoint.net writes:
> > 
>  > I must be missing something.  We talk about "plug in" vocabularies -- I 
>  > assume via RDFS.  So what is the difference between needing to 
>  > know 1000 RDFS vocabularies to do anything useful and knowing 1000
>  > XML Schema vocabularies?
>  > 
>  A valid point.  Nevertheless, there is going to be a helluva lot less work
>  involved in looking up the definition of a newly encountered predicate than
>  in dissecting an arbitrarily long and complex XML Schema.

I don't think that is a true statement when we consider that predicates, as 
first-class objects, could (and probably should) point to an ontology.  This 
mean that understanding a new predicate in an RDF/semantic web world will
require processing one or more ontologies (maybe even all the way up to 
SUMO).  On the other hand, XML Schema operates from the closed world 
perspective where the context is fixed.

Don't get me wrong, I think RDF is the better long-term approach.  I just am 
trying to
see the key watershed issues/technologies that will cause the switch from 
curiosity to widespread adoption.

>  In a previous note, you mentioned that RDF was only of value within the
>  context of the Semantic Web.  For the time being, I would agree with that
>  statement.  If its a private endeavor and the metadata is not intended for
>  public consumption, its probably easier to whip up an XML Schema.

Unfortunately, I would say that even for public consumption that is still the 
way to go.  For example, I see no current benefit in having RSS be in RDF 
except to 
claim it as a use for RDF.  From a corporations standpoint, this is a waste
of training dollars -- you need to train your people in both XML Schema for 
majority of XML things you want to do and now in RDF to do RSS for no 
extra benefit.
>  On the other hand, if we are talking about creating a standard for metadata
>  which will be published on the Internet, I would utilize, or at least
>  consider forward compatibility with, RDF - which will likely be widely
>  deployed in a few years time.

Forward compatibility is risky.  It is probably a better strategy just to 
lean on
XSLT and transform your data when the dust settles.

 - Mike
Michael C. Daconta
Director, Web & Technology Services
Received on Wednesday, 26 June 2002 13:28:00 UTC

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