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Re: Turtle implementation report for RDF::Trine

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:59:25 +1000
Message-ID: <CAGYFOCQKfygwogHQj_b7=nW1CrxM4aq5XUdgJg4nx4uaUSKZFw@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Eric Prud'hommeaux" <eric@w3.org>
Cc: David Robillard <d@drobilla.net>, Gregory Williams <greg@evilfunhouse.com>, David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>, public-rdf-comments@w3.org
On 28 April 2013 07:25, Eric Prud'hommeaux <eric@w3.org> wrote:

> * David Robillard <d@drobilla.net> [2013-04-27 14:25-0400]
> > On Thu, 2013-04-25 at 17:23 +0800, Gregory Williams wrote:
> > > Dave,
> > >
> > > Another follow-up on this issue:
> > >
> > > On Apr 17, 2013, at 10:22 PM, David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > There is a note in ISSUE-1 that shows that the SPARQL 1.1 syntax was
> "practically frozen" by the time the RDF working group was established (23
> Feb 2011, 16:28:05).  Unfortunately for Turtle syntax, we had very little
> ability to change SPARQL.
> > > >
> > > > There is also a note that the working group resolved that SPARQL and
> Turtle syntax should be "the same except for well-motivated (and small)
> exceptions." (resolved at 13 Oct 2011, 17:24:43 UTC)
> > > >
> > > > Both of those notes suggest @prefix and PREFIX syntax alignment.
> > >
> > > The early discussion of ISSUE-1 seems to be only about the
> triple(-pattern) syntaxes of Turtle and SPARQL. In fact, Richard Cyganiak
> brought this up explicitly by saying "The resolution wast that the *triple
> pattern syntax* should be the same … This shouldn't be understood to
> include BASE and PREFIX, I think" [1]. Which got agreement from at least
> Sandro[2]. At some point people started discussing PREFIX and BASE again,
> but it's not clear to me that any resolution of ISSUE-1 or its motivation
> that triple-pattern syntaxes be aligned should have bearing on this issue.
> > >
> > > I certainly don't think that arguing that the WG resolution to align
> the triple pattern syntaxes should outweigh what is, in my opinion, a valid
> technical and usability argument against having two separate syntaxes for
> PREFIX and BASE. Especially when there wasn't exactly overwhelming support
> for adding this to the spec to begin with. Looking at the 16 May 2012
> minutes[3], I see 11 of 17 abstaining (0) votes, 3 votes for (with an
> additional +0.2) and 2 votes against (-0.999 and -0.7). (I'm not going to
> try to parse the difference between people's using signed zeros.)
> >
> > Exactly.  There are certainly things about the triple syntax I don't
> > like at all (path query idiocy), but aligning those is a reasonable
> > thing to do and I support it despite the ugliness.  That is "aligning":
> > making the two very similar things equivalent.
> >
> > However adding new redundant directive syntax isn't; there is no
> > existing practice this breakage fixes, and it should be pretty obvious
> > that having redundant and inconsistent forms for the same thing in a
> > language is not so great.  There is no alignment because the old forms
> > aren't going anywhere, there is only cruft - cruft which implementations
> > clearly should not be writing in any case.
> >
> > The W3C bureaucratic process is being confused with reality too much
> > here.  Turtle is an established language that has been around for many
> > years; the SPARQL WG happening to finish first (not giving a damn about
> > Turtle in the process) does not change that.
> >
> > It seems there is nowhere near enough support for making such a change
> > to Turtle which, like it or not, has had an established single form for
> > directives for years.
>
> There is another viewpoint that you should be aware of. The "@prefix"
> syntax is derivative of the generalized @keyword syntax in N3 but
> Turtle doesn't use the feature at all. If we don't make some
> sacrifices to encourage compatibility, we stand to frustrate potential
> new users with what appears to them to be pointless syntactic
> differences. I expect we all hope that future RDF users will
> outnumber existing ones.
>
>
I am sorry, but I completely disagree that changing a fundamental part of
an established syntax as part of its long-delayed "standardisation" process
can be rationalised by saying that hypothetical future users will
appreciate it and it doesn't matter what a community of current users think.

Peter
Received on Saturday, 27 April 2013 23:59:52 UTC

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