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

Re: [Turtle] About slashes in prefixed refrences, not about escaping

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:53:06 +0100
Cc: RDF-WG WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <367A281F-2129-49D4-A949-5D119ABECFA4@cyganiak.de>
To: Gavin Carothers <gavin@topquadrant.com>
On 19 Aug 2011, at 04:50, Gavin Carothers wrote:
> The design goal for prefixed names clearly has been to make it more
> convenient to write down long URIs. For example lets say you wanted to
> write down some triples about the W3C website, say the standards
> section.
> You might start by writing down:
> @prefix standards: <http://www.w3.org/standards/>
> You'd be a bit annoyed when you got to each section, xml, webarch,
> semanticweb, etc, and discovered that you needed to create a new
> prefix for EVERY path segment.

There's nothing wrong with writing out full absolute URIs. It's what everyone has been doing for 20 years when creating hyperlinks in HTML.

Your argument is that this is too long:


And it would be so much nicer if you could write:


But tell me, when exactly would you choose one option over the other? Would you never write the former? Or only if there's more than one use for the w3c: prefix in the document? More than two? Is it really that much harder to just write out the full URI?

I feel that you're proposing to introduce a new syntactic feature (CURIEs) that overlaps very much with an existing syntax (bracketed URIs), to the point where it becomes unclear when to use which. It adds syntactic variation with very little benefit.

That's exactly the path of featuritis that doomed RDF/XML. Remember how in RDF/XML, ID="foo" is syntactic sugar for about="#foo". The result is tons of newbie questions and bug reports where they say, I want it to output ID="foo" but instead it writes about="#foo", I don't understand what I'm doing wrong, my code looks like it should work fine, how can I make it write the right thing?

I expect the same kind of stuff to happen for Turtle if you get your way with this feature.

> With everyone trying to use URIs with
> rest principles to build websites and APIs it seems odd that we should
> be standardizing Turtle in such a way that it makes it hard to use
> well designed URIs.

It doesn't make it harder. It just removes one possibility for making it shorter. A possibility that HTML never had, and it seems to be doing just fine.

> The obvious reason not to change Turtle's design here is that Turtle
> is a well settled format. The same goes for SPARQL as well, (also not
> our WG). So is it worth changing Turtle and possibly being less in
> agreement with SPARQL?


Received on Friday, 19 August 2011 13:53:44 UTC

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