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Re: XML observation

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 10:01:48 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>, pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Cc: w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org

Hello Graham,

At 10:54 03/07/07 +0100, Graham Klyne wrote:
>Well said, Pat!
>I've been mulling how to say something very similar to this myself, 
>without appearing to be destructive.  Roughly, we seem to have two viewpoints:
>- XML is text-with-markup
>- XML is a generic presentation framework for arbitrary data
>and these two goals are not always compatible.

Yes indeed. Please note that the inclusion in RDF of literals with
XML was mainly if not solely for the first puprose; for arbitrary
data structures, RDF has better things available.
[I'm not sure I agree with your 'presentation framework' point,
but that's a separate issue that we don't need to pursue here.]

>I think we are seeing a fault line in RDF design caused by the tensions of 
>trying to make XML serve different masters.  (I am wondering if there 
>isn't an issue here that shouldn't be raised with TAG, to clarify the role 
>of XML in web architecture, per the options above.)
>For a design as (hopefully) fundamental as RDF, I don't think it's a (long 
>term) viable option to just paper over the cracks.  I have always been a 
>strong proponent of Pat's "view G" of graphs:  RDF as just another flavour 
>of XML doesn't hang together in my view.

RDF is not another flavor of XML. But we need to be able to have
XML as literals, as an extension of plain literals, for i18n.

>There a couple of other data I'd like to introduce:  in his pre-last-call 
>review of the RDF concepts document, Tim Berners-Lee expressed some 
>concern about the "distinguished" nature of XML in RDF [1].  That was a 
>comment which was never really given a lot of attention that I was aware 
>of, and is one which I personally agree.  Similar sentiments have been 
>expressed in an exchange between Patrick and Peter Patel-Schneider [2].

I discussed this with Tim a few weeks ago. He was not aware of
the fact that you don't need an infoset to handle XML literals
in RDF.

And the inclusion of XML literals in RDF is not a mistake, it's
important for i18n reasons. I feel it's terribly sad that this
gets ignored here time and again.

Regards,    Martin.

>[1]  TimBL:
>I have to say I have a problem with RDF being tied to always have to have 
>an XML literal as a base type. This breaks layering - and level breaking 
>features should I believe be left for another layer. You should not 
>require any RDF machine to have to include an XML infoset system. The 
>choice of XML syntax was supposed to be an enginering but arbitrary choice.
>-- http://www.w3.org/2002/07/29-rdfcadm-tbl.html#xtocid103643
>referenced by:
>[2] PatrickS/PFPS:
> > (As an aside, I personally consider the exceptional nature of XML literals
> > to be a mistake, for lots of reasons, but that's the way they are defined
> > so the "fix" at this stage is to simply make the specs clear about it).
>-- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-rdfcore-wg/2003Jan/0091.html
Received on Tuesday, 8 July 2003 10:04:51 UTC

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