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Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: RDFStyles: alternative to XSLT for RDF

From: Emmanuel Pietriga <epietriga@yahoo.fr>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:46:10 +0200
Message-ID: <3F97DBA2.7030803@yahoo.fr>
To: Libby Miller <Libby.Miller@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: "DuCharme, Bob (LNG-CHO)" <bob.ducharme@lexisnexis.com>, 'Graham Klyne' <GK@ninebynine.org>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Libby Miller wrote:
> Indeed, but RDFPath-type languages model the 'path' in terms of the RDF
> model, not the XML model. They steal the syntax to mean something
> different. Such a system could be used with XSLT to query the RDF model.

Agreed. That's why I was making the difference between XPath and XSLT. 
XPath-based RDFPath is fine with me. What I am questioning is the direct 
processing of RDF through RDF/XML + XPath/XSLT as they stand today.

> If RDF had a cannonical syntax in XML then you could use XMLPath with
> RDF and although you would not be querying the RDF model, it would
> nevertheless work ok.
> Libby

I also fully agree with that. But we don't (yet?) have a cannonical 
RDF/XML syntax. So it is not ok right now. And although it is ok from a 
pragmatic point of view, it is not from a more conceptual one (in my 
opinion). We can probably live with that, but we should be careful as it 
might not be in our best interest on the long run.


> On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, Emmanuel Pietriga wrote:
>>>>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 09:47:45 UTC

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