W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > May 2002

Innovation, community and queries

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 00:40:07 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 04:19 PM 5/22/02 -0500, Aaron Swartz wrote:
>I think I want to do something in between. The question becomes how. As 
>you've pointed out in your talks on fractal society, there's a balance to 
>be struck. You and I and Sandro and HP can create new specs all day, but 
>at some point we need to move to the next level beyond that. We need the 
>small community involved here to agree on something.

I'm not clear about the *need* for agreement here.  I'm happily working 
away on a project, developing ideas and software.  I have made use of other 
people's work, not because I had some prior agreement (technically 
speaking) about the work, but because it fitted my goals.  I shall 
endeavour to follow the RDF specs as I understand them, but if I feel the 
need to innovate I'll do that too, without looking to anyone for 
agreement.  Of course at the end of the day, I hope that others will find 
my work useful so I'm well motivated not to stray too far from the 
community view.

In summary, I'm not sure what else is needed to do these things.  The 
wonder of today's Internet and Web is that it's possible for a lone 
individual (which is my capacity in the above project) to do all this 
without needing to draw upon great resources.

>RDF Query languages are a good example. I overheard several people at 
>WWW2002 who felt that it was time to standardize RDF query languages, but 
>perhaps some concern about doing it at W3C. A lot of individuals have 
>written their own query system, and they understand the subject well. The 
>kind of thing I want to see is for those people to come together and work 
>something out.

As someone who has recently designed and implemented a (yet another) RDF 
query "language", I'm not convinced we're ready to standardize.  I'm not 
convinced we know enough about the performance issues in RDF, and I'm also 
not convinced that standardizing a query language at this time would bring 
great benefits.  But I could be wrong on both counts.

My own intuition is that a query language for RDF should aim to operate at 
a higher level than "find this pattern of triples", but in my 
implementation it was hard to break away from.  I'd like to see more work 
on storage formats before we nail down a query language.


Graham Klyne
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 19:44:04 UTC

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