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RE: ANNOUNCEMENT: RDFStyles: alternative to XSLT for RDF

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 20:27:28 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: "DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO)" <bob.ducharme@lexisnexis.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

At 11:37 21/10/03 -0400, DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO) wrote:
> >but not usually usefully because of the syntactic variations RDF
> >can use to express the same graph.
>These syntactic variations are RDF's problem, not XSLT's, any more than
>rendering of SVG or XForms are XSLT's problem. In other words, the root
>cause of the sadness you describe is at
>http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-syntax-grammar/, not at http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt.

I find comments like this to be unhelpful.

RDF and XSLT are tuned to different kinds of problem space.  XSLT's is 
manipulation of tree-structured data.  RDF's is handling information that 
originates in a variety of structural forms, and which is not closed to the 
addition of new information relating to any existing component.

To say that an incompatibility is the fault of either one or the other is 
to ignore the most important factor:  what problem are you trying to solve?

The "root cause" of any problem here is a mismatch between the problem to 
be solved and the tool that is brought to bear on it.  If you have problems 
trying to use a screwdriver to drive nails, is it a fault in the 
screwdriver?  I think not.

"When the tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail".

XSLT is a pretty good hammer.  But why does anyone think that XSLT is the 
right general-purpose tool for manipulating RDF information?  Beats me.


Graham Klyne
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Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 05:39:48 UTC

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