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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 21:48:12 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
At 01:51 PM 5/16/02 -0500, Dan Connolly wrote:
>On Thu, 2002-05-16 at 11:17, Graham Klyne wrote:
> > 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.
>Well, maybe.
>But keep in mind there are at least a few implementations
>that we break if we go the other way:
>   # how does existing RDF software handle this datatypes test?
>Responses indicate RDQL, rdfql, Squish, and Euler think literals
>are tidy. But there was some indication of willingness to change...
>"things could be changed to support non-tidy literals and then
>I suppose you'd have to do something like...".
>I suppose I'm willing to think it over, again. But tidy literals
>is pretty deeply embedded into all the software and applications
>I've developed over the last 18 months.

That (i.e. the original question of your survey) was exactly the 
question/argument I personally found not compelling as an argument for tidy 

But, that was a fair response, and I've no claim on Absolute Truth here, 
just an opinion.

There's a balance to consider here:  your survey was directed squarely at 
software developers:
If you have any sort of RDF API or query language or
any sort of software in which this question can be posed,
would you please ask your implementation and tell
us its answer right now?

But there's another group here, too:  I'll call them "information 
designers".  This is the category I'd apply to Dublin Core.  And more 
generally, to any group that get's together to define how to describe some 
information in RDF, so I guess that would include the CC/PP and photo 
metadata software I mentioned.

Of course, the really important progress is going to come from a fruitful 
cooperation of software-developers and information-designers.  In the 
scheme of things, I think it's going to be easier for the software 
developers to adapt to the needs of the information designers.

I speculate that the important gains for RDF have come from adoption by 
information designers - Dublin Core, RSS, foaf, etc.


Graham Klyne
Received on Thursday, 16 May 2002 16:41:41 UTC

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