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Re: Encouraging canonical serializations of datatypes in RDF

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfpschneider@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:36:14 -0400
Message-ID: <501833AE.3050801@gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
CC: public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>

Your two examples have different canonical forms in XML.   I do not believe 
that going beyond XML canonicalization is a good idea.

I find your request for a second canonical form for XML datetime to be rather 
strange.  Isn't it a major point of a canonical form that there is only one?

In any case, I don't see the point here.  If equality-unique canonical forms 
are only encouraged, then applications will still have to do datatype-aware 


On 07/31/2012 02:31 PM, David Booth wrote:
> To enable RDF from one system to be more easily compared with RDF from
> another system, it would be helpful if the serialization of datatyped
> literals were encouraged to be in a canonical form that would enable
> simple string comparison to be used instead of requiring a comparator
> that understands the semantics of each datatype.
> A particular case in point: xsd:datetime.
>    "2012-07-31T17:16:00+01:00"^^xsd:dateTime
> represents the same point in time as
>    "2012-07-31T16:16:00Z"^^xsd:dateTime
> but the strings are not the same.  This could be avoided by encouraging
> a canonical serialization such as dateTimeStamp
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema11-2/#dateTimeStamp
> in which the timezoneFrag is required to be "Z".  (I've just filed a
> bugzilla report on XML Datatypes to ask for such a canonicalization
> https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=18452
> because there doesn't seem to be one defined currently.)
> How forcefully such canonicalization should be encouraged is a matter
> for debate.  I do not think it should be a "MUST".  "SHOULD" would be
> fine, as there are good reasons why someone may want to generate
> non-canonical literals.  But it may also be good enough to just put an
> editorial note in the spec saying that "RDF generators are encouraged to
> generate literals in a standard, canonical form that allows simple
> string comparison to test for equality and greater-than/less-than when
> possible".
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:36:42 UTC

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