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Re: Proposal for ISSUE-12, string literals

From: Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 16:17:35 +0100
Message-ID: <4DCD4B8F.7040903@epimorphics.com>
To: public-rdf-wg@w3.org

On 13/05/11 15:48, Lee Feigenbaum wrote:
> On 5/13/2011 10:33 AM, Alex Hall wrote:
>> FWIW, my preferred approach would be to:
>> 1. Say that every literal has *either* a datatype *or* a language tag.
>> 2. Say that the datatype of the surface form "foo" is xsd:string.
> I also prefer this approach. I don't really understand the preference
> for normalizing to a plain literal with no datatype or language tag. I
> know Andy talked about users wanting similarity between language tagged
> literals and simple string literals, but I don't really even know what
> wanting that similarity means.

If, in Turtle, the input form "foo" becomes "foo"^^xsd:string and it 
gets written out again, as "foo", it means that it is impossible to 
write a simple literal (old style) at all.

If "foo"^^xsd:string turns into "foo", writing old style (= existing) 
Turtle has the option of both forms.

The test is "has datatype? no => a string of some kind".  I don't mind 
from a technical point of view that the internal form having a datatype 
of xsd:string but I think users will find the fact that "foo" has a 
datatype and "foo"@en does not is odd.

The ideal outcome here is if we had a theory of how a datatype hierarchy 
for language tags, with all the details of language tags like region and 
script work.  As we don't, I suggest we avoid adding rdf:PlainLiteral 
into the mix but leave the space open to a detailed solution in the 
future.  For rdf:PlainLiteral: the lexical form is confusing and it 
hides the language tag - practical consideration for people using RDF 
without reading all the specs, not a theoretical problem.

Received on Friday, 13 May 2011 15:18:05 UTC

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