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Re: Explaining why we use RDF instead of just XML

From: Bill de hÓra <dehora@eircom.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 16:14:23 +0100
Message-ID: <3EF9BC4F.205@eircom.net>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
CC: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Dan Brickley wrote:

> But it is a tradeoff. Adopting RDF means that you just can't make up your 
> XML tagging structure at random, but you have to live by the 'encoding' rules 
> expected of all RDF applications.
> This is so that software written this year can have some hope of doing useful 
> things with vocabularies invented next year: an unpredictable 'tag soup' 
> of arbitrary mixed XML is hard to process. RDF imposes constraints so that 
> all RDF-flavoured XML is in broadly the same style (for example, ordering 
> of tags is usually insignificant to what those tags tell the world). 
> Those constraints take time to learn and understand and explain, and so 
> adopting RDF isn't without its costs.
> And so the more of us who use RDF, the happier the cost/benefit tradeoff gets, 
> since using RDF brings us into a larger and larger family of inter-mixable data.
> Does this make any sense? 
> ]]

If all RDFish XML is broadly the same, then this make even more 
sense if the restrictions that RDF graphs impose on standalone XML 
are written down as a subset, ideally in a spec somewhere. This is 
what SOAP does with XML/Infoset. It makes it easier for XML folk to 
figure out if the impositions are worth it.

Bill de hÓra
Received on Wednesday, 25 June 2003 11:18:06 UTC

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