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RE: The Tragedy of RSS

From: Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it>
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 12:23:42 +0200
To: <MDaconta@aol.com>, <leo@mmk.ru>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EBEPLGMHCDOJJJPCFHEFKEAAIAAA.danny666@virgilio.it>


There is a lot of interesting points in the article but I don't know if we
are ready for additional complexity (via deeper grounds) yet.  I think
every complex feature must be tied to a direct benefit.  The chief complaint
from RSS developers that I see in the newsgroups is that RDF adds
complexity without any extra features or benefits.  They don't see the
benefit -- and I don't either with respect to RSS.  For me, I see
ontologies and inference as demonstrating a clear value added.  Until we
have those quibbling over the syntax of simple syndication seems like
a waste of time.   Why?  Because when the time comes that we have
robust ontologies and robust inference mechanisms -- enough changes
will have occurred to the syntax to make existing RDF moot.

You're creating something of a chicken and egg situation here - to make
robust ontologies and inference mechanisms, some lower-level language(s)
will be needed. It could be done using something other than RDF (such as
KIF, or something completely new), but seeing as RDF by design encompasses
web-awareness and the architecture is flexible enough that virtually any
ontology/inference mechanism can be layered on top.

Since I am stirring the pot -- let's throw in another slap in the face --
WSDL.
It is evident that it is a description of resources ... but no RDF in sight.
Why fight with one hand tied behind your back?  Why push a bad design.

The existence of WSDL says very little about the design of RDF.
That the non-RDF approach requires a completely new XML language for every
domain (RSS and WSDL mentioned so far) says a lot about that general
approach. The semantics of syndication and web services can be expressed
using RDF (RSS 1.0 & DAML-S respectively), and the same tools can be used on
both. Now how would you suggest setting up interoperability between
information expressed in RSS 0.9x and WSDL?


At what point do you go back to the drawing board and say --- many
people think this is broke.  Let's take an axe to it.

In what respect is it broken? There are ongoing problems, but this is
largely because a lot of new territory is being explored.
The difference is that whole layers of solutions are generalised, so once a
problem is solved in one domain it is solved in all domains. It's a bit bit
like the old "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach him how to
fish..." (or whatever).
In this analogy RSS 2.0 is a fish.

Keep stirring the pot!

Cheers,
Danny.
Received on Saturday, 5 October 2002 06:34:20 GMT

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