W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > November 2001

RE: heading toward datatyping telecon

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 16:14:14 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
At 05:22 PM 11/6/01 +0200, Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com wrote:
>It is true that programmers are used to dealing primarily
>only with the value spaces, but that is because the lexical
>forms of values are not preserved, but only a means to an
>end, that end being a canonical internal representation of
>the value.
>Since RDF preserves the lexical form, we cannot enjoy such
>a convenience. At least not at the RDF level.

I don't understand "RDF preserves" -- RDF is just a language, a format, for 
expressing some things.  RDF uses the lexical form as part of this 
expression, to express a meaning that may,
in many cases, be expressed equivalently with different lexical forms.

In this respect, RDF seems just like most programming languages.

>So the solutions that we come up with must at least preserve
>the needed information for interpreting the lexical forms
>of literals as well as organize that information in a consistent
>manner for the sake of implementation.

What you say here may be true of some system implementations that use 
RDF.  But RDF itself is just a means of communication between such systems.

I think it would be most inappropriate for the RDF specification to dictate 
what processing an RDF-using system should perform, and how.  What is 
important for the working group is to capture the meaning of any given RDF, 
in a way that allows us to determine whether or not truth is preserved by 
some transformation under some stated set of assumptions.


Graham Klyne                    MIMEsweeper Group
Strategic Research              <http://www.mimesweeper.com>
Received on Tuesday, 6 November 2001 11:21:49 UTC

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