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Re: first pass parseType="Literal" text for primer

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 22:49:17 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>, rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>, i18n <w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org>

At 15:05 22/07/03 -0400, Martin Duerst wrote:
>Hello Graham,
>Sorry that I used the wrong word, maybe. Let me explain some
>of the background for the language I have used.
>The key document that proposed serious internationalization for
>the Web, written by Gavin Nicol, and still available at
>used the concept of "The WWW As A Multilingual Application"
>to explain why it was important to have an overall I18N model:
>On the Web (many people these days say *in* the Web), there
>is no guarantee that your data will stay with your application
>and not go somewhere else.

I took a look at that, and immediately come up against a problem:
 From an end-user perspective, no matter where a link leads, the browser 
will be able to cope intelligently with the data received. From a system 
viewpoint, all clients and servers should be able to at least communicate.
which implies (to me) that the only thing the web is supposed to do is 
browsing.  To me, the web (and especially the semantic web) is about 
browsing and much much more.

The document then raises the need for multiple data formats for different 
purposes, and goes on, as far as I can tell, to talk about no data format 
other than HTML.

As a discussion of web *browsing*, I'm not criticising this document, but I 
do think there's more to the web.  (I also think that RDF is a technology 
that has, or should have, uses *beyond* the web, but that's probably not an 
argument to swing in this forum ;-)

>As you have showed very well below, the word 'application'
>is still used for smaller, identifiable pieces of software rather
>than for the whole Web. However, the idea that any Web page should
>be renderable on any browser, that pieces of XML data can move around
>freely, and that any RDF data can move to other places (called applications
>in general usage of the term) nevertheless is the central idea of
>the Web (including of course the Semantic Web).

In citing those quotes from the architecture document, I saw a clear 
distinction between "agents" (which the architecture document also 
mentions) which appear to be the "identifiable pieces of software", and 
applications which I see as multiple cooperating software components 
communicating across the Internet using Web architectural principles.

>So while I may have used the wrong words, I think my point was a
>very valid one, namely that any kind of attempt at trying to look
>at RDF data too much in terms of single, independent 'applications',
>and trying to use this to justify design, is against the very basic
>idea of the Web.

I think there's a false dichotomy here:  we're not talking about a "single 
application", not is it multiple "independent applications", but a web of 
networked applications that share concepts and ideas to the extent that 
it's useful for them to do so.  In particular, RDF is not separate from the 
rest of the web, nor is it just another part of "the Web application".


>At 15:46 03/07/22 +0100, Graham Klyne wrote:
>>At 14:33 21/07/03 -0400, Martin Duerst wrote:
>>>There is no 'Web applications', the
>>>Web is one single big application. Similarly, there should not really
>>>be anything called an 'RDF application'. All RDF together should be
>>>the application.
>>I'm sorry, I just can't buy that.
>>Further, the web architecture document [1] makes numerous references to 
>>"applications" in the web...
>>Depending on the application, an agent may invest more processing effort ...
>>Furthermore, designers should expect that it will prove useful to be able 
>>to share a URI across applications ...
>>The Web can be used to interchange resource representations in any 
>>format. This flexibility is important, since there is continuing progress 
>>in the development of new data formats for new applications and the 
>>refinement of existing ones.
>>Sometimes it is necessary (and good for given application) to break layers.
>>The trade-offs between binary and textual data formats are complex and 
>>All things being equal (a rare state of affairs) textual formats are 
>>generally preferable to binary ones in Web applications.
>>There are many cases where final-form is an application requirement ...
>>Authors and applications can use URIs uniformly to identify different 
>>resources on the Web.
>>Some applications (and some users) will undoubtedly build new resources 
>>by combining several representations together.
>>[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/
>>Graham Klyne
>>PGP: 0FAA 69FF C083 000B A2E9  A131 01B9 1C7A DBCA CB5E
>Graham Klyne
>PGP: 0FAA 69FF C083 000B A2E9  A131 01B9 1C7A DBCA CB5E
Received on Wednesday, 23 July 2003 02:51:53 UTC

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