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RE: better syntax effort - who could contribute?

From: McBride, Brian <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 17:10:52 +0100
Message-ID: <5E13A1874524D411A876006008CD059FE7D910@0-mail-1.hpl.hp.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: RDF interest group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
It is good to see some energy for moving RDF forward and I
would be happy to commit to putting some effort into helping.

The other responses to your message are well taken.  I'm not
sure that a new syntax effort can move forward on its own.
It seems to me that there are three broad areas where remedial
work is needed:

  o Resolution of issues about the RDF model arising
    from the current specifications.  I would be concerned that
    an effort on a new syntax could be derailed if the model it
    is trying to represent is not clear.

  o Resolution of issues about the current syntax so that current
    implementations can be more consistent.

  o Design of a simpler and more regular syntax, whilst protecting
    the legacy investments that have already been made.

Implicit in the way I am thinking about this, is an assumption that
it would be good to move towards a separation of the model and the

Brian McBride

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Brickley [mailto:danbri@w3.org]
> Sent: 30 August 2000 17:38
> To: Stefan Kokkelink
> Cc: RDF interest group; Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN
> Subject: RDF: better syntax effort - who could contribute?
> (changed Subject from Re: M&S/Parser question)
> On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Stefan Kokkelink wrote:
> > There has been a lot of discussion on this list about
> > the RDF syntax. Is there any clarification in sight
> > whether there will be a more formalized description
> > of the syntax or even a simplified one? (Or will nothing
> > happen in the near future?) This would decrease the number 
> > of mails on this list and we could focus on the interesting
> > parts of RDF ....
> Good question. Let's try to find out.
> Who here has the time/effort available to contribute to such an
> effort?  Aside: I'm being agnostic here w.r.t. process (ie. 
> SAX-like email
> based effort versus full-on W3C Working Group). 
> We'd need people to boil down a list of existing issues, summarise
> deployment problems with RDF 1.0 syntax, explore the new 
> 'better than DTD'
> syntax specification options now available (XML Schema, 
> XSLT/Schematron
> etc), look at (and liase with) other XML graph serialisation 
> efforts (see 
> Henrik's recent post contrasting RDF and SOAP models [1]). 
> We'd need to
> evaluate XLink-as-RDF. We'd probably be well advised to 
> consider how the
> XML syntax effort in the Topic Maps community relates to our 
> goals for RDF. 
> We'd need sanity-checking implementations (I believe there are two
> or three rdf++ parsers already). We'd need to have a clearer 
> sense of the
> constraints on any such 'better' syntax -- for example RDF 
> 1.0 uses XML
> attributes to allow for syntactic inclusion of RDF within 
> (X)HTML documents. 
> In short, there's a lot of work to do. I'm looking for volunteers and 
> cheerleaders here. A bunch of people have expressed a wish for a
> new/better/cleaner syntactic representation of RDF. Others 
> seem happy to
> work at the RDF model layer, and are relatively unconcerned 
> with syntactic
> ugliness. When it comes down to it, I've no sense of how many RDF IG 
> people would be around to work on the RDF syntax problem (nor, to be
> honest, how much work there is to be done).
> If enough people *do* want to work on this (and I hope that the above
> list establishes there's a lot of work that might be done) we can talk
> about how best we might organise this effort. 
> So... an informal straw poll. Who here can commit some 
> significant amount
> of time to 'better RDF syntax' efforts? (having suggested 
> this I should
> stress that I've no idea how to interpret the results of this 
> query, it's
> summer, people are on vacation etc etc. this is very unscientific.).
> Dan
> [1] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000Aug/0082.html
Received on Thursday, 31 August 2000 12:10:58 UTC

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