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Re: Taking an axe RDF in XML? (no thank you)

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 13:18:06 -0400
Message-Id: <200205231718.g4NHI6v08749@wadimousa.hawke.org>
To: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
cc: Bill de hÓra <dehora@eircom.net>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Graham Klyne writes:

> If we want this technology to take off, I don't think that beating on 
> everyone to "work and think" in RDF is the way.  When I suggest to people 
> who are proposing to use XML for some purpose that they might use RDF, the 
> response has been universally negative.  They're familiar and comfortable 
> with XML, and don't want to leap into a new unknown. 
>   ...
> What I'm suggesting is that folks can be persuaded to make some small 
> changes to their XML, to be compatible with the RDF serialization 
> syntax.  My one success in getting RDF used by product developers was 
> exactly this.  In this way, the front-loaded costs are practically zero, 
> but the information is readily available to pioneering RDF 
> developments.  As more applications come on stream, I would expect more 
> developers to realize the benefits and adopt more of the RDF mindset.  It's 
> a migration stretegy.  Without such a strategy, I fear that the success of 
> XML which actually work against adoption of RDF.
>

Yeah.  Asking people who've just switched to XML to use RDF "instead"
is like telling the construction workers who just finished the
building to move it six inches to the left.  At least I get the same
stares in both situations.  :-) So it's important for XML users to see
RDF-adoption as a small additional step they should take, instead of a
different road they should have taken.  (People who are not invested
in XML may want to use an entirely different path.  That's fine.)

I agree the M&S 1.0 syntax is very clever in supporting this use.

But this is a good time to chime in with my other approach: XML
grammars annotated with RDF semantics, which I've been experimenting
with as blindfold [1] .  And specifically having the annotated grammar
available from the namespace name.  This allows people to use XML
however they want and (by adding a file at the namespace name, or
linked from the RDDL file there) still read it as RDF.  I haven't
really implemented that retreival step, and the current code is very
incomplete, but it's enough to convince me it's a feasable approach.
(Blindfold takes a very non-XML approach, because I also want to
handle ascii languages.  One could certainly do it from XML Schema or
Relax-NG or I think with XSLT - like Uche's XSLT to turn WSDL into RDF
[2].)

     -- sandro

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/06/blindfold/grammar
[2] http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/ws-trans/?dwzone=ws
Received on Thursday, 23 May 2002 13:18:43 GMT

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