W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > November 2018

Re: Blank nodes as predicates Re: Blank Nodes Re: Toward easier RDF: a proposal

From: Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 08:50:37 +1000
To: semantic-web@w3.org
Message-ID: <9f60e9f0-922d-0726-5ea0-c6441d531269@topquadrant.com>
I second Martynas here. The downstream costs of such a low-level change 
would be enormous. A huge number of tools, APIs and algorithms would 
break, standards would need to be updated, books, tutorials etc would 
become outdated.

Also I personally doubt that it would make RDF more widely used. Most 
other languages used by average developers (e.g. JSON) have a basically 
object-oriented data model, where objects have named properties, and the 
values of these properties are either literals or other objects. 
Following the same assumptions in RDF limits that mismatch.

If such a change is made, it should ideally be done in a fork of RDF 
under a different name. I don't see how such a breaking change on the 
very lowest level could make it through a consensus-driven W3C process 
anyway. A middle-ground might be to have a separate W3C document on 
"Generalized RDF" and then future revisions of related standards could 
gradually be updated on whether and how they support that 
generalization, as an optional feature.


On 23/11/2018 12:16 AM, Martynas Jusevičius wrote:
> Is that really an essential problem? With blank nodes as predicates,
> will it suddenly become easier to build RDF applications and explain
> it "for dummies"?
> A lot of infrastructure will break and/or will have to be updated,
> that is for sure.
> On Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 2:59 PM Martin G. Skjæveland <martige@ifi.uio.no> wrote:
>> On 22/11/18 13:02, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>>>> On 2018-11 -21, at 22:40, David Booth wrote:
>>>> Blank nodes are special second-class citizens
>>>> in RDF.  They cannot be used as predicates,
>>> Agreed it messes up the symmetry.  Actually in most of my code you can
>>> use a blank node as a predicate.  That said, RDF is unusual in having as
>>> much symmetry.
>> I like symmetry. Can we get a ✅ for blank nodes as predicates too?
>> Martin
Received on Thursday, 22 November 2018 22:51:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Tuesday, 5 July 2022 08:45:57 UTC