W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > September 2000

Re: RDF Namespaces and Attributes (again)

From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 20:39:08 +0100 (BST)
To: Jason Diamond <jason@injektilo.org>
cc: www-rdf-interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GHP.4.21.0009302011070.14317-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

On Sat, 30 Sep 2000, Jason Diamond wrote:

> I realize that no one likes to discuss the thorny details of syntax here but
> I'm working on an RDF parser in C and really need some clarification on some
> issues.

It would be great to put syntax issues behind us; as you say, we
shouldn't have this (or similar) threads every time someone takes on the
task of writing an RDF parser. In the meantime, this is the right palce
for such a thread.

> We've seen this one before: According to the formal grammar in Section 6,
> the attributes "ID", "about", and friends are NOT qualified with the RDF
> namespace.

This is indeed a developer FAQ. I've sadly failed to get a revision to
the RDF Issue list done before leaving for the Dublin Core
workshop next week. Brian McBride has however made a great contribution
by collecting together, see:

Dan C mentioned this too in context of FRODO RDFSViz,
and offers one perspective on an answer.

On this particular issue, Lee Jonas was good enough to take time out to
write it up in the style of the issue list I circulated,

I circulated the first pass at an issue list on the 5th Sept,
http://www.w3.org/2000/03/rdf-tracking/ and the last update was 
24 days ago, though given the traffic we've seen in september, it feels
much longer!


> My questions are: Can I enforce this in my parser? Should I follow the
> grammar as precisely as possible even though it will probably not parse
> quite a bit of hand written RDF out there? Are the examples that explicitly
> qualify "about", "resource", and "parseType" simply in error?

I'm not an rdf syntax expert, so my honest answer is "I don't know". My
instinct would be to accept qualifications of about, resource, parseType
since the intent is clear, even if the spec isn't. There's a pretty
clear need for an errata entry here I think. I'll be seeing Ralph Swick
soon, will investigate the "life after REC" question of errata.
Having a clear problem statement couched in terms of an errata
statement that might go on 
http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-rdf-syntax-19990222/errata would be a
help. I think we probably have much of that in the messages to date.


> I think (hope) we all agree that unqualified attributes do NOT inherit the
> namespace of their element. Can somebody at the W3C please put that in
> writing?
> I'm not proposing any alternative syntax (although I would probably prefer
> one). As Dan Brickley recently stated [2], this is a W3C Recommendation and
> implementors should keep on implementing. But implement what? The bugs and
> inconsistencies in the RDF M&S should be clarified as quickly as possible
> before RDF really takes off. Why hasn't this already been done?

You're right, this needs chasing up, nailing down, and other such
metaphors. I launched the issue list at the start of the most
disconcertingly active month in RDF history, and have (to be
honest) been a little bit blown off course by day to day
events. Despite the bugs and inconsistencies, a lot of code is getting
built. And you're right, we owe it to you (and other developers) not to
waste your time through poor documentation of known problems.  I hope my
existing skeletal Issue List, subsequent threads this month, and
Brian's excellent issue/thread summary go some way towards addressing
this need. Plenty more to do; I'm thankful I'm not attempting this
alone. My concern right now is not becoming a bottleneck in managing the
Issue list, though it'll (see my point ;-) be over a week before I'll
likely do any more on that front.

hoping this doesn't put you off parser hacking,


> Jason.
> [1]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000May/0004.html
> [2]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000Sep/0074.html
Received on Saturday, 30 September 2000 15:39:15 UTC

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