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Re: RDF-ISSUE-5 (Graph Literals): Should we define Graph Literal datatypes? [RDF Graphs]

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 17:29:53 +0000
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <129E9C06-2531-4326-BBB9-FBBD5F769102@cyganiak.de>
To: nathan@webr3.org
[a rant on the purpose of standardization groups; slightly off-topic]

On 5 Mar 2011, at 16:18, Nathan wrote:
>> If there's no interoperability problem yet, then there is nothing to standardize, and a standardization group has no business concerning itself with the matter. What you're talking about is R&D, and standardization groups are the worst possible place for that.
> normally I'd agree, however RDF is seen as being in the domain/control of a standardization body,

As is *any* standard.

> people haven't added graph literals to turtle, because that wouldn't be turtle, wouldn't be handled by RDF, and thus is seen that they "can't" do it, not that they "don't want to" do it.

I'm sorry but there are countless counterexamples. There are many extensions of RDF around that go beyond what's supported by the standard. Some have caught on, others have not. If what you are saying were true, then named graphs wouldn't exist -- after all they went beyond RDF. They caught on despite not being a W3C technology. Talis, OpenLink, Cambridge Semantics and other vendors happily define and use their more-or-less proprietary extensions to various W3C specs. Something not being in the official standards has rarely stopped anyone from innovating. Your assertion that people “can't” do something because it's not in a W3C spec is simply false.

> If there was a way to easily put a chunk of RDF in to a graph and talk about it, people would do it - likewise chunks of HTML and chunks of JSON. People get data from the web and people want to be able to wrap that data up and strap meta data to it, without the indirection names provide.

Well, how do you know that?

If people really wanted to do it so badly, then surely someone would have started to code it and put it on github, or written up a draft proposal in a blog post, which would have seen violent agreement?

The problem we face is that the specs are several years behind what's actually deployed and in active use. I'd prefer to see this WG spending its time on dragging the specs forward to catch up with reality as deployed and in active use. This WG is simply the wrong venue for speculating about the one feature that would make the whole world embrace RDF if it was added. If you have an opinion on that, then by all means round up some like-minded people and get busy coding/writing it up. That's R&D, and it's an extremely important part of advancing our case; in fact, I know that many members of this WG spend a lot of their non-WG time on this sort of activity. But standardization has to *follow* successful R&D. It cannot lead it.

Received on Saturday, 5 March 2011 17:31:28 UTC

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