W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > April 2011

Re: Graphs, some quick comments

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 18:17:42 -0500
Cc: RDF WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D203F38E-B2A6-4072-B5B2-7D186DBD6080@ihmc.us>
To: nathan@webr3.org

On Apr 21, 2011, at 10:52 AM, Nathan wrote:

> (just dropped these in #swig, copying here)
> RDF is defined/constrained by it's serializations currently, so anything in the model/abstract is in the serializations, so when we discuss things like multiple graphs, graph literals, named graphs, it's done in terms of syntax, when really there is hardly ever a case where you need multiple graphs in the syntax, other than when dumping stores or sets of data, and that ain't RDF.
> however, behind the interface you need this stuff all the time, but not over the wire, and RDF doesn't handle that.
> so, perhaps a higher problem is: RDF is defined in terms of on the wire needs, but RDF is used as a data model for working with data behind the interface, and the two have different requirements.

I guess I have always been under the impression that the entire RDF standard is intended to define how RDF is used 'on the wire'; that is, as a notation for transmitting data on the Web. Applications - even quite large applications, such as a thousand linked servers on an intranet, say - are perfectly free to take RDF and do absolutely anything to it. They can make it into quads or put literals into subject position or invent their own identifiers or replace bnodes with URIs or even make spaghetti bolognaise out of it, and none of that violates the RDF specs, provided it is all done behind the public interface. It is not our job, as a WG, to make rules about what people are allowed to do inside their own software systems with the curtains drawn. We only specify how the public face of RDF is supposed to look and be interpreted; and we only even do that in order to try to improve the chances of people at different times and places writing RDF tools that will interoperate successfully when one of them consumes some RDF that was produced originally by the other.  

So why are we even having this discussion? 


> if you look at the RDF Graph usecases on the wiki, you'll notice that most of them are about managing or working with data, and people are using the syntax of trig or quads to say what they mean - but only the dumping stores cases actually /require/ having anything in the serialization.
> Best,
> Nathan

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Received on Thursday, 21 April 2011 23:18:14 UTC

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