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Re: yet another simplified RDF syntax: N-triples + abreviation

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 04:38:03 -0800
Message-ID: <3DE219AB.7010101@prescod.net>
To: Jon Hanna <jon@spin.ie>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Jon Hanna wrote:

> This relates to the idea I mentioned earlier of using KR as a 
> front-end on RDF applications. RDF and the various ways of encoding it 
> is really formachines, not people. For the most part RDF shouldn't be 
> seen by users, though obviously someone's going to have to build the 
> layers between the RDF and users, and hence the advantages in it using 
> human-readable components(URIs, XML or text-based encodings).
> Where KR can be compared (from what I've seen, I still haven't had 
> time to play with it unfortunately) to a human-understandable 
> programming language like Basic, RDF is more like machine code (with 
> n3 hence being assembly and RDF/XML being poorly written C :)

Assembly and C exist for performance reasons. If it is possible to make 
a "Basic of N3" and it can perform as well as assembly language, then 
why invent assembly language and machine code? Just use Basic. Put Basic 
in the CPU. ;)

I'm not arguing FOR KR or AGAINST N3. I am arguing against a line of 
thought that I have seen too many times: "X isn't as easy to 
read/edit/understand as Y, but that's because it isn't designed for 
human beings to deal with." As you point out, in the end, human beings 
ALWAYS have to deal with it. It is human beings who instruct the 
computer on how to deal with it. Therefore, human factors issues should 
always be considered carefully.

A more compelling argument would be that for some subset of humans, N3 
is more productive than KR. But let's please not start sacrificing human 
understanding until we are offered some compelling payoff (as in the 
case of machine code)!

  Paul Prescod
Received on Monday, 25 November 2002 07:38:37 UTC

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