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Re: Proposed conventions: System Triplestore, turtle Command, Text Embedded Turtle

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2012 10:58:51 -0500
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1328284731.2250.48202.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Hi Danny,

On Fri, 2012-02-03 at 13:22 +0100, Danny Ayers wrote:
> Playing around with utility ideas, the following seem like conventions
> I could do with:
> * System Triplestore - an RDF store exposed locally via shell utils
> and as http://localhost/sparql
> * turtle Command - primarily for the above (probably implemented as a
> wrapper around existing utils, e.g. rapper, Fuseki scripts)
> * Text Embedded Turtle - a minimal convention for interpreting Turtle
> data embedded in plain text files, useful with the above
> I roughed these out as below, possibly more legible at:
> http://hyperdata.org/docs/manuel/index.html#Proposed

Interesting idea, and it sounds useful.  The -x option for embedding
Turtle in text sounds very much like Perl's -x option (intentionally?),
which allows a Perl program to be embedded in other text such as an
email message.  From the perlrun man page:

       Perl starts parsing the input file from the beginning,
       unless you've specified a -x switch, in which case 
       it scans for the first line starting with #! and
       containing the word "perl", and starts there instead.
       This is useful for running a program embedded in a
       larger message.  (In this case you would indicate the
       end of the program using the "__END__" token.)

One plea: please make the start and end markers different, rather than
having a single modal marker such "#!".  It is too easy to get out of
sync when a modal marker is used, and much easier to visually see which
portions will be included/excluded with different start/end markers.
Since this mechanism could be used as an easy way to comment out entire
sections of Turtle, this is a very practical concern.

(Side comment about modal controls in UI design: modal controls save
space, but they are also evil because they are not idempotent. The
effect can be disastrous in an emergency when one is frantically trying
to get the system to stop before more damage is caused, helplessly
pressing the "Stop" button multiple times, when the same button actually
means both "Go" and "Stop".  Even if you are so calm as to remember that
the button is modal, if the system is sluggish -- perhaps because it is
so busy deleting a huge amount of your precious work -- it can *appear*
as though the "Stop" click did not take effect, and so you click it
again, unwittingly telling it to "Go" again.)


David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Friday, 3 February 2012 15:59:15 UTC

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