RE: I guess it's a stupid questions.

A related (stupid?) query...

Why has the triple come to have such importance?

What is magic about the number 3?

Is it because the Simpsons have 3 fingers on each hand?

Neil McNaughton
Editor - Oil IT Journal (
-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Ivan Herman
Sent: 13 November 2004 09:42
To: Petko Petkov
Subject: Re: I guess it's a stupid questions.


first of all, there are no stupid questions here. These things are not

My *personal* take is: do not try to say one is better than the other.
Nobody says RDF is 
better than XML (or XML is better than RDF for that matter); they are
different. It is 
like comparing apples and oranges. Actually, the basic triple store model of
RDF is 
completely independent from XML (in this sense, I think you made a mistake
saying 'RDFS 
goes on the top of XML'; that is not true). It just so happens that once you
have the 
basic model of RDF (and RDFS) you need a way to express it in a machine
readable form, and 
RDF/XML is *one of those* syntaxes. Note that there are lots of people out
there who do 
not like RDF/XML at all and use other kinds of 'serializations', like
turtle, n3... And 
that is absolutely fine, it is just syntactic sugar.

What you need is to understand the requirements of your application. If you
want to 
express data that has a strong hierarchy then, please, use XML and forget
about RDF. To 
take a well known example: the <li> element in XHTML will be rendered
differently by a 
browser depending on its level of nesting, ie, its position in the whole
hierarchy of the 
XHTML tree. So using XML to express XHTML is the right choice and nobody in
a proper state 
of mind should try to reformulate XHTML into RDF...

On the other hand, if your data is a 'loose' set of elementary
relationships, that 
different application might interpret differently for different purposes,
and that you 
might want to combine easily with other, similar loose sets of relationships
at some point 
in time, then use RDF. That is where the RDF data model is strong and good:
it does not 
impose any type of hierarchy and makes merging of different sources of RDF
very easy.

I hope this helps.


Petko Petkov wrote:
> I guess it's a stupid question, but I still do not understand why RDF is
better than just XML. I understand that XML is just an approach of describe
other markup languages and I believe that RDFS goes on the top of XML.
That's great, but, we are making our lives harder again and again. Simple
XML tags are much powerful than RDF statements and the triplets can be
represented in much simpler way using namespaces. 
> I have read somewhere that XML and XML Schemas are not good because XSD
implies specific rules on the document structure. I find this explanation
rather stupid than complete. XSD have the capabilities to include into a
particular element different elements that may come from different namespace
for example. 
> I examined Firefox structure to see real RDF examples. Although, Firefox
is just the best browser in the world, RDFS can be replaced by XML.
> Can somebody explain to me?
> Thanks


Ivan Herman
W3C Communications Team, Head of Offices
C/o W3C Benelux Office at CWI, Kruislaan 413
1098SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel: +31-20-5924163; mobile: +31-641044153;

Received on Saturday, 13 November 2004 09:02:13 UTC