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

Danny Ayers danny666 at virgilio.it
Thu Aug 21 20:37:04 UTC 2003

A meta-aspect is the way in which RDF is presented. Note the examples Mark
shows, really clean-looking XML, really ugly RDF/XML. But his example of
Atom in RDF is using every vocabulary under the sun; Atom in vanilla XML
using default namespace terms. He could have easily used default ns for the
RDF terms too. Does this make any difference? In implementation - not
really. When influencing people unfamiliar with RDF - a big deal.

It looks like the Atom format is heading towards being a nice tightly
defined XML language (with proper extension mechanism), which'll need a
transform/mapping to get into RDF systems. XSLT is the obvious quick
approach, but I believe Sean B. Palmer's already put together parser ->
ntriples code.

I could personally live with Atom-as-XML, anything to move past the RSS
garbage politics (and markup) history. However, Shelley points [1] to what
she considers a big snag with this - that generic bots won't be able just to
load the RDF transparently into their store. I'd be interested in hearing
what the scuttermongers around here reckon to that angle.

On a positive note, there is a warming towards the RDF model which I don't
think you'd have seen in the pre-FOAF days of yore.

Re. Kendall's piece on OWL - I can only speak for the 'crack-addled' and not
the 'academic naifs', but I liked this piece, a reinforcement that this
stuff is now ready on the table for us to do fun stuff with.


[1] http://weblog.burningbird.net/fires/001550.htm

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rdfweb-dev-bounces at vapours.rdfweb.org
> [mailto:rdfweb-dev-bounces at vapours.rdfweb.org]On Behalf Of Dave Beckett
> Sent: 21 August 2003 21:28
> To: Victor Lindesay
> Cc: rdfweb-dev
> Subject: Re: [rdfweb-dev] RDF all the way on XML.com
> 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.
> Dave
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