W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > November 2002

Can RDF thrive in an XML-centric world?

From: Bob MacGregor <macgregor@ISI.EDU>
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 11:41:17 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

 >Our main feature this week on XML.com is from well-known XML
 >experts Bob DuCharme and John Cowan.  In "Make Your XML
 >RDF-Friendly" they describe how to structure XML documents so
 >that they can be used by RDF processors.

Very nice article.  However, I was hoping to read some do's and don'ts
for structuring XML so that an XML-to-RDF converter could do a good
job of converting the XML into RDF.  What I think the authors were describing
is how to structure your XML so that a standard RDF parser could
read it successfully.  Some of the advice was innocuous: how to
include URI references in a compatible way.  But then they started
advocating insertion of RDF-syntax (as opposed to RDF-style).  The
ugly RDF:resource tag was recommended.  And then "striping".  RDF
striping is an unfortunate hang-over from the bad old days that ought
to be declared deprecated.  Expecting that XML users will refactor
their XML to conform to obscure RDF conventions strikes me as
dangerously naive (dangerous to the future health of RDF).

IMHO the RDF world should be learning how to
accomodate the XML world, not the other way around.  The core good ideas in
RDF are URI's and triples (while current RDF syntax is a huge liability).
If something in XML can't be converted into triple form,
then we have a problem that needs to be handled one way or another.
If someone were to write an triple-compatibility verifier for XML that
indicates how successfully a given piece of XML might be converted into
RDF triples, that would be a nice contribution towards a future tool suite
intended to provide a robust means for importing XML into RDF triple stores 
by-passing RDF syntax completely).

- Bob
Received on Friday, 1 November 2002 14:42:52 UTC

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