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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: RDFStyles: alternative to XSLT for RDF

From: Emmanuel Pietriga <epietriga@yahoo.fr>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 14:58:35 +0200
Message-ID: <3F97D07B.2080402@yahoo.fr>
To: "DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO)" <bob.ducharme@lexisnexis.com>
Cc: 'Graham Klyne' <GK@ninebynine.org>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

>>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.

I don't think it is. More precisely, I don't think XPath (and thus XSLT 
as it exists now) should be used to process RDF, because this means 
addressing the problem at the wrong level:

When we use XPath to query an XML document, XPath is concerned with the 
  XML structure itself, i.e. the XML tree, not its serialization or what 
the tree represents at a higher level of abstraction (in the case of 
RDF, a directed graph).

RDF/XML is just a serialization of RDF. So when we make XPath queries on 
an RDF/XML document, we do not query the RDF graph (which is what we 
want to do), but a projection of this graph onto an XML tree (which is 
the cause of the problem of the multiple representations of the same 
graph in RDF/XML).

As many other people, I believe it would be nice to be able to use 
existing processing tools like XSLT with RDF, as it would make things 
easier and reduce the cost of learning and manipulating RDF. But some 
technologies are just not appropriate, like XPath. So we need some kind 
of RDFPath language that addresses the problem of selecting parts of an 
RDF model at the appropriate level (which is not an XML tree 
representation of the RDF graph built from its RDF/XML representation)


Emmanuel Pietriga (epietriga@nuxeo.com)
tel (mobile): +33 6 88 51 94 98
Received on Thursday, 23 October 2003 08:57:50 UTC

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