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Literals and turning off datatype/language

From: Niklas Lindström <lindstream@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 23:15:49 +0200
Message-ID: <cf8107640706131415p4c6cf5cdiea19d2632d4d1b21@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org

Hello all!

The telecon for this Thursday (June 14th) aims to make official the
resolution to ISSUE-25 - Default Datatype for Literals. This is not an
attempt to re-raise the long-running debate. I do however have two
concerns I'd like to voice before the issue is resolved. (I must admit
I wasn't sure that a consensus had been reached..) Hopefully this is
already as things are intended to work.

My concerns are:

1) It should be possible to "turn off" datatyping, regardless of
whether rdf:XMLLiteral is the default or not. *Requiring* the author
to resort to @content could IMO discourage adoption of RDFa in
some/many cases. The reasons are:

    - A datatyped literal has no language information.
    - Given the same string values, a datatyped literal is not the
same as a plain literal.

Turning off datatyping should be done with an empty @datatype. Thus:

    <html ... xml:lang="en">
            <title property="dc:title" datatype="">The Story Of Language</title>

should yield:

    <> dc:title "The Story Of Language"@en .

2) It should be possible to "turn off" language scope. The reason is:

    - Given the same string values, a literal with language is not the
same as a plain literal.

Turning off language scope should be done with an empty @xml:lang.
Thus (combined with turning off datatype):

    <p property="foaf:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Some Body</p>

should yield:

    <> foaf:name "Some Body" .

That is all. As said, this may already be the default behaviour,
either implicitly or because I have failed to see it in the
specification (this *is* how xml:lang is supposed to work as described
at <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml/#sec-lang-tag>). If not, I hope that
this can be agreed upon and possibly added explicitly to avoid

Best regards,
Niklas Lindström
Received on Thursday, 14 June 2007 01:46:17 UTC

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