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RE: N3 and N-Triples (was: RDF in HTML: Approaches)

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 15:33:25 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C10576BEB6@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Graham Klyne" <GK@ninebynine.org>, "Aaron Swartz" <me@aaronsw.com>
Cc: Bill de hÓra <dehora@eircom.net>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

This is +1 to Patrick's n-triples as RDF-Subset

I think the internationalization issues go away if you just serialize the triples as XML (i.e. RDFSubset+XML as Patrick just proposed).  The non-XML n-triples syntax has various ways of escaping things so that you can stuff Unicode into a 7-bit file, escaping for whitespace, since whitespace is also used to distinguish items, and so on -- so the n-triples files get really ugly with anything other than Western European stuff.

And FWIW, I think this is a major strike *against* the current n-triple serialization as a good test tool.  In order to gain broad acceptance, RDF will have to handle languages like Chinese at least as good as XML (and XML is no paragon).  Imagine merging and testing graphs of mixed Chinese, Arabic, and other Unicode languages.  If I were the test lead for such a project, I would be more worried about debugging the n-triples syntax than my program.  At least if the data is stuffed in an XML file, I know that there are a wide range of parsers available that have got it pretty much right.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Graham Klyne [mailto:GK@ninebynine.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 7:55 AM
> To: Aaron Swartz
> Cc: Bill de hÓra; www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> At 12:14 PM 6/3/02 -0500, Aaron Swartz wrote:
> >>[[
> >>NOTE: N-Triples is not an user RDF syntax - it is intended for RDF
> >>Core WG testing purposes and checking RDF applications for
> >>conformance with the specifications.
> >>]]]
> >
> >Sure, it's not for users to write but it's for software to output. I
> think
> >that some of my WG colleagues disagree with me on this, however.
> There is a technical issue why N-triples is inadequate as a generic
> "standard" exchange format - that it has inadequate internationalization
> capabilities.  This was clear from corridor discussions with the I18N folk
> at the last w3C technical plenary (I don't remember the detailed arguments,
> but U18N folks kind-of indicated they'd hold their noses about N-triples
> if
> it was clear that it's not intended as a common-use interchange format.
> #g
> -------------------
> Graham Klyne
> <GK@NineByNine.org>
Received on Thursday, 6 June 2002 18:33:27 UTC

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