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Re: Is promoting RDF+XML a lost cause?

From: Phil Dawes <pdawes@users.sourceforge.net>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 17:45:11 +0000
Message-ID: <16806.6695.467345.817009@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Giovanni Tummarello <giovanni@wup.it>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Hi Danny,

Danny Ayers writes:
 > 
 > The tool that XML developers really, desperately seem to want to cling
 > on to is the text editor...
 > 

This is a cool quote, although I'd speculate that the tool developers
really want to cling on to is 'print'. Being able to participate in an
XML world with just a script that prints text is an incredibly low
barrier to entry.

Unfortunately RDF/XML requires a depth of understanding that raises
the barrier just high enough to frustrate and confuse people. I don't
think the problem is so much that it is ugly (although that is a
problem), but that it isn't intuitive.

A guy in my team recently wrote a perl script to generate striped XML
from apache config files (no URIs, no RDF:abouts, no parsetypes),
suitable for being read by an RDF/XML parser and put into our
knowledge base.

He's a smart guy, but he did find it confusing and frustrating.  The
main problem was that the XML syntax didn't enforce the RDF model (the
striping). The solution each time was to try and think of the data in
terms of resources and triples and then map it - in fact seeing the
data in the triplestore (through the veudas interface) made it
obvious.  Unfortunatly that structure isn't obvious from the XML.

In retrospect, I really should have got him to write turtle instead of
striped XML.

Cheers,

Phil
Received on Friday, 26 November 2004 10:34:29 UTC

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