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Re[2]: Taking an axe RDF in XML? (no thank you)

From: Leonid Ototsky <leo@mmk.ru>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:32:55 +0600
Message-ID: <9481.020524@mmk.ru>
To: "Assini, Pasqualino" <titto@essex.ac.uk>
CC: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Collegues,

Suppose the both and XML and RDF are "law level" languages.
And for real projecting there must be something above them.
For example the UML.
http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/cranefield99uml.html
"UML as an Ontology Modelling Language"

Best regards,
 Leonid
mailto:leo@mmk.ru and copy to leo@mgn.ru
=====================================================
Leonid Ototsky,
http://ototsky.mgn.ru
Chief Specialist of the Computer Center,
Magnitogorsk Iron&Steel Works (MMK)- www.mmk.ru
Russia
=====================================================

Thursday, May 23, 2002, 8:43:48 PM, you wrote:


AP> Bill,

AP> I am not sure that the XML syntax is a major stumbling block on the road to
AP> the adoption of RDF.

AP> The counterexample is XSLT that has an even more horrible syntax but it has
AP> been widely picked up.

AP> My explanation of XSLT success vs RDF failure to gain widespread acceptance
AP> is that the use case that XSLT is made to provide, tranforming XML, is both
AP> widely needed and easily understood.

AP> XSLT provide 'instant satisfaction': you write a transform and some
AP> funny-looking XML gets transformed in human-readable HTML. Now that's
AP> useful.

AP> On the contrary: you describe some resource in RDF and ... not much happens.


AP> The set of use cases provided by RDF is much richer but also clearly harder
AP> to grasp than the XSLT ones.


AP> But I would certainly agree that an aesthetically pleasing syntax that
AP> people could write/read easily would help enormously in kick-starting the
AP> semantic web.

AP> Problem: I don't think that you should be looking at XML for a solution of
AP> this problem.

AP> Are you aware of any XML syntax that people actually like to use?

AP> XML fulfils a very important function in the semantic web as a flexible,
AP> easy-to parse, transport syntax but it is far from being easy on the eye.

AP> A much better starting point would be N3 or other non-XML syntaxes.

AP> What about an official non-XML syntax for RDF optimised for human
AP> readability?

AP> Best


AP>      titto

AP> -------------------------
AP> Pasqualino "Titto" Assini - Nesstar Ltd
AP> John Tabor Building - University of Essex
AP> Colchester, Essex  - CO4 3SQ  - United Kingdom
AP> email: titto@nesstar.com <mailto:titto@nesstar.com>  personal email:
AP> titto@kamus.it <mailto:titto@kamus.it>



AP> -----Original Message-----
AP> From: Bill de hÓra [mailto:dehora@eircom.net]
AP> Sent: 23 May 2002 13:51
AP> To: 'Graham Klyne'
AP> Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
AP> Subject: RE: Taking an axe RDF in XML? (no thank you)



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>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Graham Klyne [mailto:GK@ninebynine.org]
>>
>> Bill,
>>
>> I think there's an implicit assumption in your message that
>> the existing
>> XML serialization of RDF is not suitable for its purpose.

AP> Graham,

AP> I don't altogether agree, but I suspect have a different notion of
AP> fitness for purpose.

AP> Let me clarify what I think the purpose of the XML serialization
AP> is. The XML serialization is there to get RDF adopted and used,
AP> nothing more. Behind that /is/ an assumption and it is this: in
AP> software tools, syntax and ease of use  count for more than
AP> semantics or correctness.

AP> The XML serialization is means-ended: it's a carrier, there so that
AP> RDF graphs and the underlying consequences of the MT can be held
AP> within it. Kendall Grant Clark suggests:

AP> [[[
AP> my theory about why RDF is not widely used is that to date it has
AP> not been well evangelized.
AP> ]]]

AP> He's suggested that this is the role of the primer. I'm suggesting
AP> that this is the role of the XML serialization.


>> I'm not saying it's perfect, just a lot better than it's
>> sometimes given
>> credit for.  It's biggest problem (IMO) was it's original
>> documentation
>> (which is easy for me to say in hindsight...)

AP> I think it's clear enough I agree the state of current syntax draft
AP> is a vast improvement over the M&S.  On the other hand, the wg did
AP> invent ntriples to get some work done and as far as I know is still
AP> using it. Not eating your own dogfood is cause for concern. When I
AP> see the wg and the director move to the XML, no doubt I'll recant.


>> If there's a problem, I think it's that we're failing to
>> capitalize on this
>> migration path to RDF.

AP> I don't agree this is the problem. People are not working and
AP> thinking in RDF and that's almost wholly down to the syntax. RDF
AP> compatible is good, but is a poor substitute for RDF inside. It's
AP> also dissonant; while I'm thinking in domain X in my modelling
AP> language, I have to saccade to be sure about RDF upward
AP> compatibility. Make it easy for me to think about domain X /in/ RDF
AP> not /for/ RDF.


>> >4) Wrt to deployment, RDF's costs are frontloaded. We think
>> it's going
>> >useful, some day, because we have a notion that information
>> in RDF form
>> >is highly repurposable and easy to merge (serializations
>> >notwithstanding). I haven't seen much by way of acknowledgement
>> >that  RDF is a pension plan for your information, and surely it
>> wouldn't hurt
>> >any to get this message across some more.
>>
>> #g:
>>
>> I agree strongly with almost everything you say here.  Except
>> that   intelligent use of the XML serialization means that the
>> front-loaded  costs can be practically zero as an increment on
>> using XML.  Design your XML
>> application format to be RDF compatible.  Later, when the
>> tools are widely
>> available to handle this as pure RDF data, a return on almost
>> no investment
>> can be realized.

AP> I think the costs are nowhere near zero, though they have dropped
AP> considerably in the last year.

AP> Nonetheless, other wgs, specifically WS ones, don't seem all that
AP> interested in RDF as base material, unless things have changed in
AP> the last few months. It's astonishing to me that WSDL may get out
AP> the door and not be written in an RDFXML.

AP> I've been hearing about the toolsets for a while. Danbri has
AP> suggested in the past the RDF dev community aren't closers of a
AP> sort. I challenged it then and still find it an anomaly difficult
AP> to credit; it's looking for answers in the wrong place. This is a
AP> classic bootstrapping problem; to break the cycle simplify the XML.

AP> Syntactically, things still are not user friendly enough and I put
AP> that down almost solely to the scope of the charter, not the
AP> members of the wg, nor how RDF core goes about its business.

AP> I humbly suggest that if a XML syntax is developed, a simple not a
AP> clever one, you'll see the tools and people modelling RDF because
AP> they have the tools, within six months of that syntax being
AP> uploaded. Clear this barrier to adoption and the only thing that
AP> can hold back RDF then are the innate complexity of RDF graphs or
AP> the innate inability of RDF developers to ship One-Oh code, neither
AP> of which I suggest are the barriers purported. Otherwise short of a
AP> killer app, RDF will remain a fringe or sleeper technology while
AP> the world carries on with the likes of WSDL, XMLSchema, XMI or the
AP> Model Driven Architecture.

AP> Bill de hÓra


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Received on Friday, 24 May 2002 03:34:36 GMT

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