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RE: UPDATE: why RDF syntax is not suitable for OWL

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 15:08:20 -0500
Message-Id: <p0510144ab893190f8208@[]>
To: "Smith, Michael K" <michael.smith@eds.com>
Cc: webont <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
>  > I don't think the real issue has anything much
>>  to do with triples; and since so many people like triples, then why
>>  not let 'em use 'em, I would suggest.
>>  Pat Hayes
>I think it is a mistake to think 'so many people like triples'.  Maybe
>within the RDF community.  But I presume one of our goals is to create a
>standard that is adopted by a much wider community.  I would assert that the
>wider community is  using XML syntax.  They are writing and using tools that
>process XML.

Many are, but not all.  Every community feels that its particular 
notation is the endpoint of human evolution, of course.

>I will ask this question again: Where does the RDF standard say that its
>syntax is defined by triples?  Where is the formal triple syntax for RDF?
>All I have seen is an XML syntax.  What documents have I not read?

Go to the RDF WG website and read the current versions of the 
documents there, especially the MT and the N-triples spec.  The WG 
some time ago decided that the graph syntax (as expressed in 
Ntriples) was primary, cf. 


Resolution: On 16th November 2001, the RDFCore WG resolved:

*  The WG agrees that:
-  the graph model which is the basis for the model theory
-  the n-Triples representation of an RDF graph
-  the diagrams of graphs used in documents such as the RDF Model and 
Syntax document

are currently all equivalent

*  The WG resolves to maintain that equivalence (this is a statement 
of intent rather than a certified fact)
*  The WG notes that the RDF/XML syntax as currently defined is 
unable to represent an arbritary RDF graph. In particular, the 
RDF/XML syntax cannot fully represent a bNode which is the object of 
more than one statement.
*  The WG believes that extending the RDF/XML syntax so that it can 
represent all RDF graphs is beyond the scope of its current charter 
and resolves to postpone consideration of this issue.
*  The WG actions the editor of the RDF Syntax WD to include in that 
document a clear statement of the RDF graph structures that RDF/XML 
is unable to represent.

Currently: closed



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Received on Friday, 15 February 2002 15:08:20 UTC

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