Re: on independence of elements, relating versions [XMLVersioning-41]

Tim Bray writes:

> I think, however, that the existing RDF/XML syntax
> aggressively obfuscates the underlying graph to the
> point that it's a serious deadweight around RDF's neck.
> I've on a number of occasions proposed a brutally
> minimalit XML syntax for RDf with only three elements:
> resource, property, and value.

I was trying to ask a somewhat deeper question (or maybe I'm 
misunderstanding your answer).  Let's assume we indeed had whatever was 
the "ideal" XML serialization of RDF, the one that most directly reflected 
the graph of triples and was as convenient as possible for XML tools. 
Question:  to what extent would XML -based tools then be a first class 
means of doing RDF queries?   I still have an intuition that the answer 
would be that there is risky level mixing going on, though I don't doubt 
that the improved serialization would allow the XML tools to provide a 
better approximation to an RDF query than they do today. 

To stretch my original analogy, using XML Query on even an improved RDF 
serializations seems a bit analagous to saying:  "if I serialize my XML 
carefully (no comments or no CDATA sections perhaps), it will be a bit 
easier to use Grep to reliably extract information from my files".  True, 
and that might be a handy thing to do, but Grep really doesn't properly 
navigate the structure or model of an XML document.  In the same sense I 
ask:  would XML tools applied to such an (improved) RDF serialization be 
close to a first class means of navigating the semantic model encoded in 
RDF, or would it be like grep over XML, an occasionally handy 
approximation?  I'd really love to find out that the answer is "yes, first 
class", as that would go a significant way toward relieving my concerns 
regarding the coexistence of the two models. 

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Received on Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:28:55 UTC