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RE: Patel-Schneider Paradox ...

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@HPLB.HPL.HP.COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 11:37:45 -0000
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JAEBJCLMIFLKLOJGMELDKEAJCDAA.jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>

> > >3/ RDF syntax - particularly some of the automatic reification
> components
> >
> > There aren't any automatic reification components. :-)
> Well there are.  Such components include rdf:bagID and rdf:ID on property
> elements.  RDF syntax also includes things like parseType="literal", which
> apparently are supposed to be very complex.

I tend to agree with Peter that RDF/XML syntax is somewhat painful.

But ...

Pat is right when he says that the underlying graph syntax of RDF is simple.

Much of the complexity in RDF/XML comes from being up the stack rather than
able to start at the bottom.

e.g. to understand (fully) RDF/XML syntax it is necessary to understand:

Unicode normal form C
ISO 639-2 three letter language codes
ISO 3166 country codes
entity references within XML
relative URI resolution according to the somewhat defective algorithm in RFC
URI internationalization issues
the complexities of bagID syntax

Many of these are open to attack, e.g. someone from the Summer Institute of
Linguisitics is unhappy that the ISO 639-2 language codes require you to
know the language group of a dialect before you can name it. This doesn't
work for his user community who are (still) coming across 'unknown'

However, they are trying to address issues for which we are not expert, and
largely it is better that someone else has addessed these issues and offered
answers. Sometime good, sometimes indifferent.

I think that the RDF/XML syntax is less than impressive but, particularly
after the clean up that the RDF Core WG is doing, it is not so bad that it
needs chucking.

I think that many aspects of the real syntactic complexity acutually are
inherent in the WEB project.

None of our familiar examples of languages are intended to be used in a
world wide multilingual environment. The W3C family of languages has that
intent, and to some extent is up to the task. I view this as a big win, and
hope that the additional complexities introduced are:
  - essentially superficial
  - addressable by automatic tools

Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2002 06:38:17 UTC

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