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RE: Alternatives to XML for RDF?

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 09:13:29 +0300
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B026301B5@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <charles@w3.org>
Cc: <ashley@semantic.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
> Sent: 13 August, 2003 08:42
> To: Stickler Patrick (NMP/Tampere)
> Cc: ashley@semantic.org; www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Alternatives to XML for RDF?
> On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com wrote:
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: ext Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
> >>
> >> XML is nice because it can be used with XML tools - XQuery,
> >> Xforms, XSLT,
> >
> >For RDF, the use of XML does not actually invite the use
> >of XML tools such as above, as they cannot be used
> >effectively for arbitrary RDF/XML schemas.
> This is true for generic processing of RDF. But I suspect I 
> am not atypical
> in being able to develop simple XML-based tools to work on specific
> applications of RDF relevant to me. Although this doesn't 
> give me the full
> power of RDF, it allows me to do the job at hand with a 
> simple tool, but
> remain compatible with the full power of RDF.

Sure. When you control the content, lots of things are possible
that otherwise wouldn't be.

I was obviously thinking in very general terms.

> >Operating directly on RDF/XML is a bad idea. One should
> >always deal with an RDF graph -- and once you've gotten
> >to the graph, the XML is gone, and is no longer an issue.
> 'The Graph' is an abstraction - interacting with it involves some
> representation or other. For my purposes, XML happens to be 
> an easy one to
> use. In particular I am working on generating RDF, and using 
> very simple
> collections of RDF data.

Using an XML representation to capture RDF graph syntax
is certainly one possible approach, though given the growing
number of mature RDF-savvy knowledge bases which exploit
the semantics of RDFS and OWL, I'd still opt myself for
a non-XML specific representation insofar as operations on
the content were concerned.

But hey, if XML works for you, that's great.

My chief motivation for commenting in this thread was to
warn the general lurking reader about aspects of an XML
approach which are non-optimal for general use with
arbitrary RDF content, and that even the graph syntax
(whether expressed in XML or otherwise) is actually only
the beginning of all the RDF/RDFS/OWL magic, so taking
an XML-centric approach may exclude one from exploiting
alot of very powerful functionality.

I.e as a matter of long-term archictecture and strategy,
tying oneself to the RDF/XML wagon as the foundation for
system functionality is unlikely to be a good choice.

> What you will find elegant, sensible and useful depends not 
> only on the task
> at hand, but also on what you are used to.

Quite so.


Received on Wednesday, 13 August 2003 02:13:33 UTC

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