[rdfweb-dev] RDF all the way on XML.com

Dave Beckett dave.beckett at bristol.ac.uk
Thu Aug 21 19:28:02 UTC 2003

On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 19:53:36 +0100
Victor Lindesay <victor at vicsoft.co.uk> wrote:

> Wow, two very hot articles on XML.com.
> Mark's piece on Atom and RDF (sorry - we failed the audition) and
> Kendall's on OWL.
> http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/08/20/dive.html
> http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/08/20/deviant.html

Yes, a nice contrast.
> So Atom is XML with a maintained, normative XSLT port to RDF. Better
> than nothing I suppose and most Atom providers will transform on the
> server and provide both XML and RDF feeds.

Atom is not finished, and Mark's just one of the Atom etc. people so
although it may be true that RDF isn't going to be the format, there is
no complete set of technical decisions yet.

> Mark, perceptive chap that he is, drills down to the two reasons why
> RDF won't be on Fame Academy next week. Tool support and RDF / XML
> syntax. Why don't we as supporters of and believers in RDF address
> these issues instead of endless discussion about this FOAF tag or that
> FOAF tag? I say this in the belief that FOAF is potentially an
> important vehicle to promote the use of RDF.

Let me quote Mark:

    "For the record, I think that the RDF model is sound, the tools work
    for me, the serialization is wretched, and the Semantic Web is an
    unattainable pipe dream. "

So it is NOT the tool support - I don't know how you read that.
His two concerns are 1) syntax 2) semweb pipedream

> Getting a decent, searchable forum to replace this archaic mailing
> list would be a start. Then a strategy to promote tool development and
> practical implementation. And the syntax, is there not a simpler way
> to encode RDF triples in XML?

"Forums" if I understand what you are describing are a terrible piece of
web design, you have to keep visiting the web page and clicking around
to find new things, terrible accessibility.  Email is the standard
communication mechanism on the internet and is a fine way to do world
wide collaboration.

Promoting tool development is good, but we have plenty of them already.

And syntax is just an endless discussion that I'm not going into myself.

> Mark is down on the Semantic Web. Well I never thought of the Semantic
> Web as some ethereal, elusive concept dreamt up by some PR brain
> farter. To me it is just code; a way to code a bit of 'intelligence'
> into our software applications. And OWL, as Kendall reports, is a step
> towards this.

Mark again: "the RDF model is sound, the tools work for me"
and I'm happy with that.


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