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Re: Dublin Core, the Primer and the Model Theory

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 17:17:08 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
At 08:49 AM 5/16/02 -0500, Dan Connolly wrote:
>The way I see it, dc:creator relates a work to
>either its creator or a name for its creator.
>So the conclusion just says that the two works
>have either the same creator or have creators with
>the same name.
>I'd rather the dublin core folks didn't use
>RDF this way, but they did choose to, and
>I'm pretty sure they were made aware of
>this sort of nonsense when they made the choice.

I don't think it's "nonsense", even though it may be less precise than some 
alternative usages one might envisage.

It's also a pattern of RDF use that seems to be very common among simple 
applications, not just Dublin Core, which is not surprising given it has 
always been enshrined in the RDF specifications, from the very first 
example.  To try and turn that around, I think you might as well give up on 
much of the following and energy that has gone into making even some small 
successes for RDF, and start again from scratch.

Loads of folks are using XML for application data.  Many of these 
applications are, IMO, natural territory for RDF.  I've had mixed success 
persuading people to use an RDF-based format, but where I have had small 
successes it's been on the basis that RDF doesn't have to be a giant leap 
from what people are already doing.  Using literal text in loose ways, like 
dc:creator, is something that I believe application designers need if they 
are not to be put off using RDF.

RDF, and in particular Pat's 'simpledatatype2' [1], can accommodate that 
kind of looseness without irretrievably damaging it's ability to be more 
precise when the need arises (or is recognized).

My view is that adopting a datatyping proposal that accommodates the ways 
that application designers feel comfortable with will have a big effect on 
RDF's eventual fate.  I have not personally found the arguments that lead 
us to require tidy literal interpretations to be compelling.  That this 
approach leads to characterizations of the Dublin Core approach as 
"nonsense" is indicative (to me) that it's out of step with thinking of 
application designers in the large.


[1] http://www.coginst.uwf.edu/users/phayes/simpledatatype2.html

Graham Klyne
Received on Thursday, 16 May 2002 13:01:08 UTC

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