RE: RDF Issues

So a useful thing to start with might be a version of the rdf m&s spec that
is just the m, without any changes to the model. Once we have that as a
straw man, we can discuss the issues relating purely to the model and keep
them orthogonal to the syntax.

James Tauber, Director XML Technology, Bowstreet
<pipe>Ceci n'est pas une pipe</pipe>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lee Jonas []
> Sent: Friday, September 08, 2000 6:34 AM
> To:
> Subject: RDF Issues
> I would like to see an improvement to the RDF syntax, and 
> would also be
> happy to offer time and effort to see it through.
> I whole-heartedly agree with all aspects of Brian McBrides 
> response to your
> call for contributions.  There should be a move to separate 
> model & syntax,
> identify and resolve model issues, then design a "simper, 
> more regular"
> syntax in that order.
> To this end I suggest it would be useful to put together a document
> describing the RDF model aspects of the M&S spec without any 
> reference to
> syntax.  Not only would this be useful in its own right, it 
> can become the
> focal point for resolving model issues and subsequently 
> driving out the
> design of the new syntax (or else for evaulating other web 
> data graph syntax
> for the job).
> Work on it could begin right now and be done in parallel to 
> other current
> tasks such as collating issues with the current syntax.  Does 
> anyone agree
> this would be a good starting point?  If asked to, I would be 
> happy to kick
> it off.
> I would also suggest that further issues be posted to the 
> list in the format
> of the issues document.  If I were in Dan's shoes, content would be
> preferable to points alone and from the RDF IG's point of 
> view, distributing
> work in this manner would help speed things along for all of us.
> I will post other issues as I come accross them. In the 
> meantime, I have
> fleshed out one of the other www-rdf-comment issues that help 
> was requested
> for:
> 1) rdf:resource vs resource
> ===========================
> RDFMS-???: Misapplication of namespace semantics to RDF attributes
> Raised Wed, 26 Apr 2000 by
> Summary: unqualified RDF attributes on element types in the 
> RDF namespace
> are _not_ equivalent to attributes with the RDF prefix.
> see also:,
>, and

Analysis: According to (the non-normative) Appendix A.2 in the 'Namespaces
in XML' spec, attributes with a prefix are in the 'Global Attribute
Partition' wheras attributes without a prefix are in the 'Per-Element-Type
Partition'.  Hence rdf:resource and resource may share a localpart.  However
they are entirely distinct entities (at least syntactically).

Examples in the RDF spec interchange the qualified and unqualified
attributes at different points.  Specifically 'rdf:about', 'rdf:type',
'rdf:resource', and 'rdf:value'.  The tendancy in the spec is to use
unqualified attributes for basic RDF syntax examples and qualified
attributes for second and third RDF abbreviated form examples - in these
cases the element type is (usually) not in the RDF namespace, so the
attribute is given the RDF prefix.

A suggested solution is to use global (qualified) attributes throughout.  In
order to make the syntax slightly more forgiving, parsers should treat any
per-element-type attributes on RDF elements the same as their global

Currently: for discussion

Received on Friday, 8 September 2000 07:31:18 UTC