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RDDL Proof-of-Concept for Atom

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:12:08 +0100
Message-ID: <014001c36369$92d11e00$8db80150@localhost>
To: "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "Ken MacLeod" <ken@bitsko.slc.ut.us>
Cc: <www-archive@w3.org>

Hi,

I've written an implementation in Python that, for an input Atom
document with extensions in their own namespaces, will get the RDDL
from that namespace, parse it to find links to xsl:templates that
extend the main Atom2RDF stylesheet, and then actually extend the
stylesheet and spit it out again.

The files are in here:-

http://infomesh.net/2003/xsltextend/

* extendedAtom.xml is a small Atom file with a new element in it,
<ext:archives>, which points to the archives for a weblog. Just a
whimsical extension, as a child element of <feed>.

* atom2rdf.xsl is the XSLT stylesheet that we worked on the other day,
that converts AtomXML into AtomRDF. Of course, it doesn't recognize
the <ext:archives> extension in "extendedAtom.xml".

* archives2rdf.xsl is an <xsl:template> element as a document. When
this is appended to "atom2rdf.xsl", this enables it to transform Atom
documents with the <ext:archives> extension. It is basically an
extension to the XSLT transformation.

* rddl.html is the document that is the namespace for ext: in
<ext:archives>. So when you come across an xmlns:ext attribute in the
extended Atom, it points to the URI of this file.

* makexslt.py.txt is the Python that does the work. You can download
it and extendedAtom.xml to a directory, and then run `./makexslt.py
extendedAtom.xml`. You'll probably need at least version 2.2 of
Python. It will find the ext: prefix, get rddl.html, parse that to
find archives2rdf.xsl, and then use Python's minidom module to append
that to atom2rdf.xsl before spitting the brand new stylesheet out.

* extendedAtom.rdf is the example output, after applying makexslt.py's
output to the extended Atom document.

So the full dance for converting extendedAtom.xml to RDF is:-

./makexslt.py extendedAtom.xml > extendedAtom2rdf.xsl
saxon extendedAtom.xml extendedAtom2rdf.xsl > extendedAtom.rdf

Of course you can use whatever XSLT engine you want; you could even
modify the Python script to do that all for you.

The main disadvantages to this approach are that you have to trust
people to provide good XSLT extensions, and you also have to trust
them to provide them on the server. In fact, the latter isn't much of
a problem since you can just filter out any unknown elements for which
you can't download a stylesheet extension.

The former, however, is tricky. It may be a showstopping extension
problem; you don't want to break the mapping to RDF/XML, or you at
least want to be able to remove the extensions that are causing you
problems. Incidentally, as noted on #echo, using SSR isn't an option
for extensions since it only provides references to whole document
transformations.

If RDF/XML syntax were used, people would have to make sure that their
extensions were compliant anyway, but publishers of AtomRDF wouldn't
have to worry about third parties breaking the RDF interpretation of
their documents. Transformation extensions could be cached and so
forth as necessary.

Note that this has been CC'd to www-archive; the W3C's public mailing
list archive for random technical issues and whatnot. I've decided
that this should be conducted in the open, but away from the spotlight
since I wanted to run the approach by you two first.

Cheers,

--
Sean B. Palmer, <http://purl.org/net/sbp/>
"phenomicity by the bucketful" - http://miscoranda.com/
Received on Friday, 15 August 2003 16:12:40 UTC

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