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Re: RDF Syntaxes 2.0

From: Richard Light <richard@light.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 11:44:22 +0000
Message-ID: <dtwf7ltWQYXLFwu8@light.demon.co.uk>
To: Dave Beckett <dave@dajobe.org>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
In message <4B5D2E3D.3000700@dajobe.org>, Dave Beckett <dave@dajobe.org> 
writes

>People moan about RDF/XML and have for years.  I even wrote down in great
>detail the flaws in [1].  Over all that time nobody has come up with a
>credible and complete XML syntax alternative that stuck, even myself.  Let
>me summarize the ones I know:
>- TriX: had little takeup
>- RXR[1]: ditto
>- GRIT: new, but flawed since it can only represent trees (no named bnodes)

Your comments focus on the "writing down" aspect of various RDF 
serializations, and human perceptions of e.g. XML.  That's one part of 
the story, but effective machine processing is another, and one which is 
pretty central to the whole Linked Data initiative.

I would like to see agreement on an RDF serialization which allows 
lossless transfer of machine-processible Linked Data between agents. 
For this purpose, RXR or something very like it would seem to me to be 
perfectly adequate.

>So I'm happy with how Turtle turned out and that should be the focus of RDF
>syntax formats *for users*.  It does need an update and I'll probably work
>on that whether or not a new syntax is part of some future working group - I
>have a pile of fixes to go in.  Adding named graphs (TRIG) might be the next
>step for this if it was a standard.
>
>It may be there is a need for a better machine format, but please don't mix
>them.  Also, machines can read Turtle RDF :)

They can: I have had a bash at writing a Turtle parser myself.  However, 
I found issues with the spec itself, and with the way my target data and 
Protege have interpreted it [1, last para].

The advantage of using an XML application to serialize RDF is that 
developers can then turn to a base layer of XML-capable software on 
which to build any application-specific capabilities or optimizations 
that are required.  If you want to consume Turtle in your Linked Data 
tool chain then you have to start from a lower base, code-wise.

For working with RDF graphs, wouldn't it be useful to define a "DOM/API 
for RDF"?  This would be a programmatic API exposing the structure of a 
parsed RDF graph, and offering a range of operations on it.  (Or have I 
just missed the fact that this already exists? - entirely possible.)

Best wishes,

Richard

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2010Jan/0236.html
-- 
Richard Light
Received on Monday, 25 January 2010 11:44:55 UTC

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