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Re: missing bit of RDF for XML people

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <stefano@apache.org>
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 10:29:04 -0500
Message-ID: <42024340.8070405@apache.org>
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Danny Ayers wrote:
> On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 09:09:49 -0500, Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org> wrote:
> 
>  Alternatively, you could have a special
> 
>>vocabulary for (partially) translating XML, like ex:containedValue and
>>ex:containedElement (which would retain some information that simple
>>blank predicates would lose).
> 
> 
> See:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-infoset-rdfs
> 
> I recently got into discussion on this (on the Atom list) with Roy T.
> Fielding. To paraphrase, he generally accepted the analysis that XML
> didn't make the relations more explicit than syntax containership, but
> argued that the relations were "obvious", and shouldn't really need
> making explicit. His word for any format that didn't use the obvious
> XML interpretation "perverse". RDF/XML falls into that category ;-)

Roy is right in one thing: making Atom in RDF/XML would make it a lot 
harder to market it against RSS (not 1.0, the XML ones). It would be 
*way* easier for everybody if people stopped arguing about "should be 
RDF, no it shouldn't" and thought about ways to build a bridge so that 
data can move from one island to the other.

As I said previously, having a 'semanticsheet' would be enough to make 
the Atom people happy with their less verbose and more palatable XML and 
the SemWeb people happy because they can "augment" that the implicit 
encoding with the semanticsheets... and, hear hear, if that "obvious" 
interpretation drifts overtime (or different groups interpret it 
differently), it's just a matter of changing the semanticsheet and not 
the entire pile of data that the world already generated.

[Here Roy is dead wrong: there is no such a thing as an "obvious 
understanding" of a syntax... even of RDF/XML]

Having RDFizers is a *lot* more useful than having a pile of explicitly 
semanticized data... RDF semantic is explicit, but no semantics is 
carved in stone: another layer of indirection is actually a plus, not a 
minus. It avoids you to spend a few teraflops in OWL inferencing that 
can be done with a few minutes of XSLT.

But of course, the "thou shall use RDF" verb has been ringing so loud 
and so obnoxiously over the years that either people take it for granted 
or hate it just because... me wonders: what happen to those who just 
wanted to solve the problems instead of marketing visions?

[I'll use my apache address here because this is my personal opinion, 
not the opinion of my group at MIT]

-- 
Stefano.
Received on Thursday, 3 February 2005 15:29:03 GMT

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