W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > November 2007

Re: Semantic Web User Agent Conformance

From: Renato Golin <renato@ebi.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 10:14:03 +0000
Message-ID: <4746A7EB.1020607@ebi.ac.uk>
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@miscoranda.com>
CC: semantic-web@w3.org

Sean B. Palmer wrote:
> Actually these principles even apply to RDF Stylesheet languages,
> because they're a metalanguage too. It'd be a good principle for
> authors of RDF Stylesheet languages to specify "magic triples", sorta
> like magic bytes for files, that let people discover a file type more
> easily.

The only meaningful place I can see you could put magic numbers for all
kinds of RDF is in the RDF header itself. such as:

<rdf:RDF (...) magic_constant_1="42" (...)>

In XHTML, using the <link> tag with magic numbers might emulate that and
for other uses of RDF you could always use the header.

Again, as we both know conformity to standards is not widely used but I
always like to give the Mozilla/IE/Firefox history as an example to show
that conformity, when compulsory, makes anyone's life much easier.


> I was thinking about using document subtypes, because then you'd just
> query for { <> rdf:type ?x } and see if the types that you can handle
> are in the results for ?x, but that makes it hard when you want to
> merge mergeable stylesheets.

You'll end up with a cascading rdf:type not necessarily compatible, I see...


> Well, RFC 2616 defines what to do in such a case, and the
> specifications for HTML 4.01 and XML have something to say about how
> to handle character encodings and so on too. You're right that you
> should use existing stuff where it's available, but quite often it's
> not particularly specification conformant so you end up rolling your
> own anyway. Python, which I'm using, is supposed to be a "batteries
> included" language and yet its standard library doesn't have anything
> for HTTP response encoding detection.

That's a fact, much will have to be coded, many modules will come, some
will linger, most will be zombies running in one or other application
somewhere in the websphere.

I remember when Perl didn't have a good template system, we had to
develop our own. It was so easy to add modules to CPAN that everyone did
that, eventually some became more standard than others but none was
really standard. Than, PHP came and took the LAMP's P from Perl.

C++ suffers in the other way, it's so hard to be accepted in libraries
like boost or STL that it takes ages to actually have something standard
to use and again, we're all building our own libraries.

Maybe some easy-to-use-batteries-included programming language will come
for the semantic web and most likely won't be a good language on it's
own (like the horrid PHP) but at least will be standard and will have
standard modules to use.

Anyway, standards are to be enforced or all of us will go crazy figuring
out every single possibility that might happen.

--renato
Received on Friday, 23 November 2007 11:49:08 UTC

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