W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > December 2004

need for tools to help people write valid RDFS

From: Butler, Mark H (Labs Bristol) <mark-h.butler@hp.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 14:07:15 -0000
Message-ID: <D46BE408DE18F841B90DEFA8CAA2CDB211C141@sdcexcea01.emea.cpqcorp.net>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>



The W3C RDF validator is very useful as it is often hard for people who
aren't particularly familiar with RDF or RDFS to get it right. 

However I observe when people write RDF and RDFS, there are a lot of
common mistakes or questionable style choices that people make.
Technically they are not errors, so the validator does not pick them up.

I think that having some kind of service that identified these "likely
mistakes" would be very useful in encouraging the uptake of RDF. I have
been working with various groups such as the DIWG, the Open Mobile
Alliance, and other groups who use their specifications to try to ensure
they use RDF correctly. 
It would be really good if these groups had tools available so they
could ensure they were using RDF and RDFS correctly. 

For an example of the problems typically encountered, take a look at the
schema on page 79 of this document produced by the

There are a number of errors, likely mistakes and questionable style
choices in the schema:

1. (Error) It has the wrong namespaces for RDF and RDFS.

2. (Error) It defines properties that are not legal XML names.

3. (Poor style?) It features unqualified use of rdf:ID

4. (Likely mistake) It uses rdfs:Property, not rdf:Property

5. (Likely mistake) It uses rdfs:Bag, not rdf:Bag

6. (Likely mistake) It defines several resources that are both type
rdfs:Property and type rdfs:Bag - this is almost certainly a mistake.

7. (Poor style) It doesn't give human readable labels to properties and

8. (Poor style) It omits xml:lang attributes from comments.

Of these only 1, 2 and 3 are identified by the current W3C validator. It
would be great if someone could extend the W3C validator so it warns
users of the other likely errors?

For other examples of these problems, see google:

google "+www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#Property"
132 hits for rdfs:Property

google ""+www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#Bag"
25 hits for rdfs:Bag

hope this is of interest, best regards

Dr Mark H. Butler
HP Labs Bristol http://www.hpl.hp.com/people/marbut
Received on Wednesday, 8 December 2004 14:09:42 UTC

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