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

From: Bill de hÓra <dehora@eircom.net>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 08:28:23 +0100
To: "'Graham Klyne'" <GK@NineByNine.org>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004b01c202f4$96ae5b40$887ba8c0@mitchum>
Hash: SHA1

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Graham Klyne [mailto:GK@NineByNine.org] 
> 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.  

I don't encourage beating on anyone in this regard. A multiparadigm
approach is interesting and often necessary. I do believe that it's
easier to think about one thing at a time; to that extent, if my
language of choice is grounded in RDF, that will simplify
development compared to a situation where I have to keep one eye on
augmenting the language in an upwardly compatible manner with RDF.
Pragmatically, in the trenches that's unlikely to occur and RDF
will go by the wayside as surplus to requirements.

> 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.  

I think Sandro captured this reaction very well. A simple XML
syntax can help language designers to plausibly consider extending
from RDF in much the same way they'll extend XML Schema types. I
don't hold out much hope of XML language builders working outwards
from either the MT or a non-XML serialization of RDF.

> 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.

Yes; the software industry is investing heavily in the XML
'paradigm' as we all know. Telling someone, well actually you
should be keying off this abstract metadata standard instead of the
angle brackets, will meet with hostility and possibly derision;
emotionally it's not the right approach. One suggestion then is to
let them work directly off an XML serialization and keep the RDF
Graph and MT aspects properly abstracted away. For reasons
mentioned, this is preferable to tweaking a language into upward

> Regarding WS, if we focused on promoting the information 
> model and showing 
> how their XML could be adapted to accommodate it within the
> RDF/XML  serialization syntax, I think we'd have a chance to make
> more headway  there.  

Complete agreement.

> As long as they use URIs for all meaningful 
> identifiers, I think the rest could be pretty painless.

The XMLP wg are taking the RESTful concerns reasonably seriously
and is engaging with the TAG in a positive way. I wouldn't hold out
for a mind-meld or anything but things seem healthier than before.
A URI-centric view will probably come to be an architectural best
practice for WS, possibly this will happen by demonstrating a
non-URI centric approach as an antipattern, proof by negation if
you will.

Bill de hÓra

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Received on Friday, 24 May 2002 03:30:38 UTC

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