W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > May 2003

Re: webont-01 'rename schema' proposal

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 14:29:52 -0400
Message-ID: <3ED50020.A39447DF@mitre.org>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

Brian McBride wrote:
> At 22:19 24/05/2003 +0100, Graham Klyne wrote:
> [...]
> >"schema" is, to my mind, a perfectly respectable generic term.  I don't
> >think that because it's used in the phrase "XML schema" we should be
> >bullied out of deploying the equally reasonable term "RDF schema".
> I regret the use of the emotive term 'bullied'.  I see no evidence of the
> XML schema folks putting any pressure on us about the use of this term.

I don't think it was the XML schema folks who were being thought of as
doing the bullying.

> I have however observed a tendency from folks, and not just those from the
> XML world, to assume that a schema language supports validation and this
> can cause some confusion.

RDF schema *supports* validation.  The problem is that it doesn't
*mandate* that is has to be used for validation.  That's left up to what
the application wants to do with it (there's a section in the Primer
trying to explain this).

> Personally, whilst I can see advantage to a name change, I think its too
> late, but as always, will be guided by the wisdom of the WG.

Part of the problem with any reasonable name change is that it probably
won't indicate that the language doesn't necessarily entail validation
any more clearly than "RDF schema" does.  Certainly when people look at
domains and ranges in "RDF Vocabulary Description Language", unless they
read the fine print very carefully, I'd bet they'll continue to believe
that those domains and ranges are necessarily interpreted as constraints
(and I bet the OWL folks are going to have the same problem).  I haven't
heard any proposals for renaming the language to something "real clear"
like "The RDF Vocabulary Description, but Not-Necessarily Constraining
or Used for Validation, Language", but anyway about all this would do is
make for a more-opaque namespace name:


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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Received on Wednesday, 28 May 2003 14:30:27 UTC

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