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

Re: Style question

From: ben syverson <w3@likn.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 05:37:55 -0600
Message-Id: <f55d3a773c1695e039fbd66aa42b86b4@likn.org>
To: semantic-web@w3.org

On Mar 9, 2005, at 3:53 AM, Kirkham, Pete (UK) wrote:

>> I totally disagree that RDF/XML is unreadable
> Fair enough. I think it is, and could at the very least be revisited 
> to make it better; I very much doubt anyone who isn't very interested 
> in the technology (rather than the application) will choose to read 
> it.

That's okay -- my thinking is that cool uses of metadata will get 
people interested in the technology, and then they'll start to "View 

> Using an XMI encoding for RDF is no more a 'custom language' than 
> using the RDF/XML encoding- they both map your custom metamodel 
> (Person, Car, Currency etc) to XML in a standard way.

I didn't actually realize that your example was XMI encoded -- in fact, 
even then I had to refresh my memory as to what exactly XMI was. And to 
be clear, XMI is not an encoding for RDF, but UML, is it not? Sort of a 
weird patchwork.

> If a version 2 of RDF/XML came with a requirement for human usability, 
> then that may be as or more suitable, but I can't see there being any 
> real gain over using the existing XMI standard, other than the 
> political one of having everything under W3C control.
> Where are the RDF/XML tools being used in industry?

Let me answer that with a question: who exactly is using XMI outside of 
the software industry? Because RDF/XML is enjoying massive deployment 
thanks to RSS and FOAF. I know a lot of people laugh off these 
applications, but to someone like myself who is building social 
software, they're undeniably important. To my eyes, RDF/XML is the 
"existing standard," not XMI...

Also, I do indeed prefer to do things the W3C way, for a number of 
reasons. Most importantly, they are the body that standards-oriented 
web developers look to first, so if I want others to be able to readily 
use my data, they are my best bet. Also, I'm on board with the W3C's 
comprehensive vision of the Semantic Web, something which I haven't 
seen from the OMG.

> So it's OK to send the raw RDF/XML encoding to the browser but not the 
> raw RDF-XMI?

Basically, yes. At least there's a chance someone will recognize 
RDF/XML, from looking at RSS or FOAF files (not to mention the many 
Qnames beginning in "rdf;" ^_^). As someone with an interest in the SW 
and metadata, I didn't even recognize the excerpt you used as being 
XMI. That says something.

> And try and think about the relative take up of UML vs RDF before you 
> label the UML/CWM interchange format as 'useless'.

Well, now that I know it's UML, it's clearly not useless, but for my 
purposes it's not useful.

All the best,

- ben
Received on Wednesday, 9 March 2005 11:37:56 UTC

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