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XML Considered Harmful

From: Ora Lassila <daml@lassila.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 21:48:42 -0500
Message-Id: <a05101002b89a0b5a4929@[]>
To: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Let me first apologize in advance for bringing this up in the first place.

In the requirements document, the "Ease of Use" section says:

>RDF is fairly easy to use, but RDF Schema is more complex. The 
>syntax appears to be a major barrier for many.

I agree about the syntax, but not about the RDF vs. RDF Schema.

Then, the "XML Syntax" section says:

>The language should have an XML serialization.

Somehow talking about ease of use and XML seems contradictory (those 
of you too young to remember, in 1997 I fought *hard* to keep RDF 
free of XML).

The "XML Syntax" section further says:

>XML has become widely accepted by industry and numerous tools for 
>processing XML have been developed. If the web ontology language has 
>an XML syntax, then these tools can be extended and reused.

The experience with RDF has demonstrated that the above statement 
about reuse is not true. XML tools essentially operate in terms of 
the parse tree. The RDF model has nothing to do with this parse tree, 
and consequently XML tools are of limited use. And using XML for RDF 
just confused a lot of people.

	- Ora

Ora Lassila  mailto:daml@lassila.org  http://www.lassila.org/
Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center
Received on Wednesday, 20 February 2002 21:49:09 UTC

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