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Re: RDF Triples in XML, named graphs

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 12:31:05 +0000
Message-ID: <402B7209.8020907@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Sandro Hawke wrote:

>>It can be found at
>>and will be accessible at,
> Why use XML as the syntax for describing triples instead of RDF/XML?
> (That is, why not just say [admit?] you're proposing a reification
> vocabulary?)

Reification is "de re" i.e. it refers to the statements (i.e. the meaning 
of the triples).

The named graphs here are "de dicto" i.e. they are quoted.

Thus we are not proposing a reification vocabulary

(However, I have been having very interesting discussions with Chris Bizer 
this week in which we have been exploring arguments for de re; I hope to 
report at the Cannes meeting).


Also the bulk of the paper is not about named graphs but about syntax, 
RDF/XML's problems are completely fundamental - only a complete scrubbing 
and starting again can really fix the RDF over XML layering issue. The key 
insoluble part is property names. RDF uses an open set of properties, these 
becomes an open set of element (and/or attribute) tags. XML formats do not 
work well with an open set of tags, but expect a closed set. Moreover you 
can't even map all URIs into qnames so RDF/XML cannot serialize all RDF graphs.

RDF/XML is a lot better than it was, but there should be a plan to replace 
it. TriX is an attempt, I think along with Dave Beckett's work referred to 
in the paper, to show what a replacement might look like. (Perhaps 
"complement" would be better than "replace" - RDF/XML does have strengths 
which are only addressed in TriX by having really quite complex, and as yet 
unwritten, XSLT transforms).

Received on Thursday, 12 February 2004 07:32:25 UTC

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