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Re: Alternatives to containers/collections (was Re: Requirements for a possible "RDF 2.0")

From: Paul Gearon <gearon@ieee.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 18:03:26 -0500
Message-ID: <a25ac1f1001191503n61dd89bava8dce13e27f6088c@mail.gmail.com>
To: Dave Reynolds <dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 7:26 AM, Dave Reynolds
<dave.e.reynolds@googlemail.com> wrote:

<snip/>

> I agree with all of those and could add a few more. However, my point is not
> "there is nothing to improve" but "it's not clear that fixing those things
> will make a substantial difference to uptake and so worth the investment -
> right now".

I agree with this viewpoint in general, but there are a couple of real
pain points that could use some addressing. I'd love to see a whole
new RDF that addresses all of the issues that have been raised in
these emails, but the change to that system is not worth it, so I'm
not so interested in that stuff (nice as they might be).

> At the risk of repeating myself ... before contemplating an RDF 2.0 (or even
> a 1.1) I'd like to hear the evidence that some group of applications or
> users is unable or unwilling to work with RDF, or being significantly held
> up, because of a specific set of mis-features or missing features. Then if
> that leads to enough justification for an RDF 2.0 then other clean ups can
> be considered as well.
>
> So far (though I may have missed a lot in this explosion of emails) I've
> noticed a couple of things in the "holding things up" category.
>
> o Several groups find a need to serialize named graphs for backup, exchange
> and provenance purposes. So maybe standardizing a Tri* format of some sort
> would be useful. However, lack of update of the existing proposals suggests
> the need is modest and in any case that sounds like a separate spec not a
> revised RDF spec.
>
> o There does seem to be evidence that the XML syntax has been a barrier to
> uptake for some groups. Though I've reservations about W3C developing yet
> another RDF syntax.
>
> A lot of the other issues may well be broken features but they are not a
> problem.  I.e. they are not what stops people using RDF and when people do
> use it they work with or around them without massive difficulty.

My main reason for writing was to comment on this point. Collections
do in fact stop me (and others) from effectively using RDF. Yes, I
work with and around them, but they come with massive difficulty.
Containers may be conceptually broken, but they're easier to work
with. But that's not what OWL is built on. Transitive predicates are
going to help, but I'm still not happy with the situation.

Regards,
Paul Gearon
Received on Tuesday, 19 January 2010 23:03:58 UTC

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