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Re: A Rough Guide to Notation3

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 16:34:11 -0700
Message-ID: <3D66C673.532D34F3@prescod.net>
To: Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Danny Ayers wrote:
> Given that the problem RDF is intended (or even designed) to solve is one of
> machine understanding rather than human legibility (that being fairly well
> covered by various other languages), I would think it reasonable to expect
> the primary focus to be in this area. 

I think that contrasting machine understanding and human legibility is a
big mistake. Programming languages absolutely need to be understood by
the computer but they also need to be readable and modifiable by humans.
A good language is *as readable as possible* (for varying definitions of
readable) without denying the computer its opportunity to understand.
Text-based languages are interfaces between us and the computer,
otherwise why use text at all?

>... Around the point I was trying to make
> regarding the possible negative effects of n3 is the feeling that if the RDF
> design job was done well, then there would be no need at all for the
> language to be human-readable anyway (I happen to believe the design for the
> specs is being done remarkably well).
> After all, what good are computers if they can't read metadata for us?

Somebody has to read the raw data because somebody has to write the
tools that present the metadata to us in pleasant forms. Once again I'll
ask, if we don't care about these people then why use text?
 Paul Prescod
Received on Friday, 23 August 2002 19:37:04 UTC

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