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

getting language tags out of the fundamental model (ISSUE-12)

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 10:17:59 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, Andy Seaborne <andy.seaborne@epimorphics.com>, public-rdf-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <1306851479.2913.269.camel@waldron>

I'm happy with the rdf:string-{Lang} datatype design, but if that seems
inelegant to you....

On Fri, 2011-05-27 at 12:32 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:
> Now we are proposing to bury one of them inside a URI to get rid of
> it. I would vastly prefer that we simply accepted that some literals
> have more than one string, and adapt our notion of literal typing to
> accommodate to that fact, rather than trying to disguise it or pretend
> its not true, and so become obliged to swallow some clearly artificial
> notion (such as a language tag being a kind of datatype) just to
> preserve what is in any case a purely arbitrary model of literal
> typing. 

In that vein, I think the *clean* thing to do with language tagged
literals is to get them out of the fundamental model.  RDF can model
anything, so it can certainly model strings with language tags.
Anything else is an optimization, I think, put in place for folks who
think language tagged strings are so common they need special support.
Then the question is what they really need (conceptual simplicity for
humans, nice syntax, efficient machine processing, ...?), and what does
the least damage to anything else....

In other words, we could say "foo"@bar is syntactic sugar for something
like [ a rdf:LinguisticExpression; rdf:language "bar"; rdf:value "foo"].
I know that doesn't address everything, but it has pretty much the same
problems everything else does being modeled in RDF.  :-)

    -- Sandro
Received on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:18:09 UTC

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