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Re: Reification quoting in RDF/N3 was: A note comparing Conceptual Graphs and RDF/Semantic Web

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 15:59:01 -0000
Message-ID: <00cd01c08167$ac577040$e9db93c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Dan Brickley" <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
> Along with syntactic sugar for inverse arcs, qualified names in
> attribute etc. Tim's non-XML N3 syntax sets us a high target
> for improved XML-based syntaxes to aim for.

Indeed. However, the main reason that it is so powerful *is* simply because
it isn't written in XML. My signature snippet is an excellent example of
the conciseness brought about by using N3 rather than XML RDF:-

@prefix : <http://infomesh.net/2001/01/n3terms/#> .
[ :name "Sean B. Palmer" ] has :homepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .

How would I represent that in XML RDF? I won't bother wasting space, but it
might help if we converted this to:-

@prefix : <#>
@prefix me: <http://infomesh.net/2001/01/n3terms/#> .
@prefix daml: <http://www.daml.org/2000/10/daml-ont> .
:isHomepageOf   daml:inverseOf   me:homepage .
<http://infomesh.net/sbp>   :isHomepageOf   [ me:name "Sean B. Palmer" ] .

Which also illustrates the concept that you don't need a URI to explicitly
exist for it to have meaning: the metadata you write about a URI becomes
the data of the URI itself. Because N3 is so neat and concise, it allows
you to create rules and state logical concepts very simply indeed:-

<> log:forAll <#p> .
{  <#p> a daml:TransitiveProperty . } log:implies
{ {
 { <#x> <#p> <#y>. <#y> <#p> <#z>. } log:implies { <#x> <#p> <#z>. }
  } a log:Truth; log:forAll <#x> , <#y> , <#z>. } .

- http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/test/rules12.n3

I think we're looking less at an errata and more of a new evolution of
RDF... there are a lot of fundamental concepts (DAML+OIL (ontologies), log:
(logic)) being developed outside of the W3C that should and could quite
easily have been developed as a part of a suite of RDF technologies *by*
the W3C. Look at RDFS, it isn't even a REC yet...

I don't even bother writing in RDF now unless I have to: I find N3 *much*
more effective and by far the better syntax (even if it isn't in XML...
there are tools to convert it).

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://infomesh.net/2001/01/n3terms/#> .
[ :name "Sean B. Palmer" ] has :homepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 10:59:58 UTC

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