W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > March 2005

Re: Style question

From: ben syverson <w3@likn.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 14:44:08 -0600
Message-Id: <e83d9b7acd8e991e279950189f65d488@likn.org>
To: semantic-web@w3.org

On Mar 8, 2005, at 7:17 AM, Kirkham, Pete (UK) wrote:

> I'd agree that view source is useful for html and document-based XML 
> (both of which do not have to deal with globally unique nodes), but 
> it's not relevent to RDF/XML, as the encoding is already broken as far 
> as human readability is concerned.

Wow. You must be one of those binary XML people too. :) I totally 
disagree that RDF/XML is unreadable, and think that this attitude is 
toxic to the web.

> don't expect anyone who isn't an expert to be looking at your RDF 
> sources.

I don't think I could disagree more. How do you expect anyone to become 
an expert in RDF/XML if it's made totally opaque by its users? I wasn't 
an automatic HTML expert in 1993, but after looking at the source a few 
times, I started to "get it." That's how you encourage users to pick up 
a standard, not by telling them "oh, it's too complex for you -- don't 
worry about it."

> I think your user would rather do view source and get something like:
> <... namespaces and schema reference
>  <Person name="Becca" eyeColor="brown,green"
>    uuid="ed68d480-85b7-11d9-9669-0800200c9a66">
>    <owns xmi:type="Car" licensePlate="BEX" color="brown">
>      <aquiredThrough xmi:type="Purchase">
> 	  <supplier href="http://cars.example.org"
>           uuid="ed68fb9b-85b7-11d9-9669-0800200c9a66"/>
> 	  <cost xmi:type="Payment" amount="2000" currency="USD"/>
>      </aquiredThrough>
>    </owns>
>  </Person>

<stunned silence /> Isn't the whole point of RDF to move away from such 
custom languages? "View source" on this might help someone understand 
XML, but besides XML syntax, it won't teach them anything they can 
re-use. Besides, not all browsers support XSLT, and there's no way I'm 
spending my server resources shuffling XML from a good format into a 
useless one.

> Are you talking about instance data or classifier definitions anyway?

All of the above

> Is the user expected to know that because you are re-using dublin 
> core, the name of the person is labelled dc:title because that is what 
> is the title of a machine addressible resource, even though common use 
> for 'title' means Mr, Ms etc? How much education of your users into 
> that sort of nicety do you envision giving prior to them being able to 
> 'view source'?

If they're viewing source, they should be able to figure it out -- likn 
is a network of nodes, and each node has a title. Until you define the 
node as something (person? essay? movie?) there's no way to know what 
relationship the title of the node has to the "actual" item being 
described. I may add a "family name" and "given name" for nodes which 
are people, but I'm not sure I should be defining that. It might be 
better to let the community specify what kind of granularity they want 
to give to a person's name.

- ben
Received on Tuesday, 8 March 2005 20:44:11 UTC

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