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Media types and assertions

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 22:47:22 -0500
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040310224722.C31735@www.markbaker.ca>


I believe that the latest application/rdf+xml registration draft[1] is
missing some very important information; it fails to declare that the
use of this media type *asserts* the triples encoded in the document.
Previous versions of the draft included some discussion about exactly
this topic[2] (sec. 4), though it didn't come right out and say what was
asserted, if anything.

There's been a lot of discussion recently about the topic of assertion,
and AFAICT, most folk seem to be assuming that every RDF/XML document
asserts triples.  I don't believe that's the case, since I can't find
any mention of triple assertion in the spec (except perhaps indirectly
in the definition of parseType="literal"?).  As Dan Connolly correctly,
IMO, points out[3], an RDF/XML document described as "application/xml"
(or "text/plain", or ...) is not communicating any triples (let alone
asserting them).  This also seems consistent with the TAG finding on
authoritative metadata[4].

The text I'd like to see in there might go like this;

  Use of this media type not only indicates the specification to use
  to extract "triples" from the document, it also indicates that these
  triples are asserted.

(any reasonable definitions of "asserted" out there?)

Aside; this also suggests that another RDF/XML media type might be
needed in order to publish RDF/XML documents without asserting them
(e.g. test cases).  But that's a whole other discussion. 8-O

 [1] http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-swartz-rdfcore-rdfxml-mediatype-04.txt
 [2] http://www.aaronsw.com/2002/draft-swartz-rdfcore-rdfxml-mediatype-02.html
 [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-webont-wg/2002Oct/0162.html
 [4] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/mime-respect.html

Mark Baker.   Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.        http://www.markbaker.ca
Received on Wednesday, 10 March 2004 22:45:48 UTC

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