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Re: ISSUE-137 (including XML includes)

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 10:33:11 +0100
Message-Id: <50A5D690-9EC6-48BF-ABF3-7D623C23A407@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: W3C OWL Working Group <public-owl-wg@w3.org>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>

On Sep 14, 2008, at 10:16 AM, Ivan Herman wrote:
[snip]
> - I agree with Alan, though, that the issue of other serializations is
> of course real, too.

Who denied that? I just deny that we need to solve the problem for  
arbitrary other serializations. I would go farther and say that *this  
group* doesn't have to solve it for Turtle (or rather, talking about  
XInclude *does* "solve" it for Turtle as it wouldn't be at all hard  
to Dave to add equivalent functionality in a sensible form).

The point is that if we solve the problem for the syntaxes under our  
care, we have done our job (qua wg). Qua community members, we still  
need to go around to all the other syntaxes (and implementations) and  
pester :)

> Pushing this under carpet

Excuse me, but I don't find this characterization fair at all. One  
could as easily say, "pushing the ignoring of existing W3C standards  
under the carpet...".

I think Jim introduced a nicely balanced tone, let's stay there!

> saying that there are no
> other W3C standard serializations doesn't sound quite right for the
> community. Other serializations are used in practice,

And maintained by other people.
[snip]

> Having said that, the question that comes to my mind is whether a more
> general inclusion mechanism is something this group has to solve or  
> not.
> Indeed (and that is where I might be wrong), I am not sure this is an
> OWL specific issue. What makes it so? Isn't it some sort of a more
> general RDF or, rather, RDF syntactic issue of declaratively including
> one graph into an other? If this is not OWL specific, than I am not  
> sure
> an owl:include would be the right way of doing it. Ie, This may be
> either an issue of the individual _RDF_ serializations, or maybe a  
> more
> general issue to be taken up if an when a new RDF Core Working group
> comes around. Not this group's.

I certainly agree (and have long argued...along with Jim,  
IIRC,....that owl:import was similiarly "misleveled").

But then Xinclude sanctioning is at least *possible* for this group  
(and may be desirable). I.e., it's a standard, RDF/XML is a standard,  
we're combining them in exactly the way they are intended to be  
combined. I would worry about *any* bespoke solution for RDF sending  
a bad message to the XML world.

[snip]
> [[[
> XInclude [...] specifies a media-type specific (XML into XML)
> transformation. It defines a specific processing model for merging
> information sets.  XInclude processing occurs at a low level, often  
> by a
> generic XInclude processor which makes the resulting information set
> available to higher level applications.
> ]]] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xinclude-20061115/#rel-xlink
>
> Ie, I do not believe it is possible to (mis-)use XInclude via some
> tricks to use non-XML syntax. The way I read XInclude is that the
> inclusion would, conceptually, take place *before* the resulting XML
> Infoset is transformed into an RDF Graph.

Which is, of course, one of it's advantages too. By "disappearing"  
what the RDF level parser sees is just one big RDF/XML document and  
treats it as such. (It's very much like a C include statement.) Thus,  
your *model* don't contain extra stuff which either must be ignored,  
or otherwise mucked with. This is why, for example, I would much  
rather see a @prefix like mechanism in turtle than a triple: Just as  
I don't want namespace declarations inside my RDF model (but just  
URIs), I don't want include statements either. (Tastes and  
circumstances vary, of course. But it's powerfully simplifying for  
some form of inclusions to be simple transclusion.)

Cheers,
Bijan.
Received on Sunday, 14 September 2008 09:33:57 UTC

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