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Abstract syntax - graph or triples

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 19:00:13 +0100
Message-ID: <3DA5C02D.3000505@hpl.hp.com>
To: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

I have slowly been having a conversation with Pat about the mismatch 
between the abstract syntax document's use of labelled nodes within a 
graph, and the model theory which uses literals and uris directly within 

Pat seems to have argued me round to his position (I am not quite sure 
how :) ).

I had wanted to know from the other editors (Dave (syntax and ntriples), 
Frank (primer) and DanBri (vocab)) as to what difficulties two possible 
versions of the abstract syntax would cause. I would also appreciate the 
series editor's input here since it seems to be about the global style 
of our recommendation.

Version 1 - labels out, triples as way forward.

this would follow recent model theory documents in describing the RDF 
data model as a set of triples; an extreme version would not even use 
the graph language at all, or would define an "RDF graph" as a set of 
With this language other docs should not refer to the "label on the 
subject node" or the "URI label" or similar; we may choose to revisit 
use of words like arc or edge and replace them all with triple.

Version 2 - mix and match

This would have the version 1 text, to connect with the model theory, 
and sketch the isomorphism to directed graphs with labelled nodes and 
labelled edges. This would allow a promiscuous use of any graph 
theoretic or triple oriented language in all the other documents.

Pros and Cons:

Version 1, clearer, less work for me, more work for other editors.
Readers get consistent terminolog.

Version 2, less work overall, readers get exposure to the variety of 
terminology used in RDF community to describe the same thing.


Received on Thursday, 10 October 2002 13:57:13 UTC

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