[foaf-protocols] EAV

Nathan nathan at webr3.org
Thu Dec 16 21:55:30 CET 2010

Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> When we agree, that there needs to be some canonical syntax, question
>> rises: which? It can be any RDF serialization, OData, or some other EAV
>> based syntax.
> Just a EAV graph. When you pull back the encoding of most structured 
> data in the wild today (and from the past) you will find EAV at the 
> base, and spin to the side its basically FOL logic.


I have to ask, is that correct? I still can't see how RDF is EAV at the 
base, I can see how it could be stored in the same model as EAV data, 
from a DBMS perspective, and also how the foreign key attributes relate 
to webized properties/predicates, but surely RDF is more than just EAV 
and doesn't have everything in common with eav, open schema, object 
property value, frame slot value, or any any of the similar data models.

For one, RDF is webized, with URIs, and URIs bring many features to the 
world of RDF not present in EAV, secondly it's got that FOL 
description/statement aspect to it coupled with open world semantics, 
and a labelled digraph rather than EAV "rows", for instance each node 
can be one of those foreign keys (but they're really web-named logical 

Ultimately I guess that I keep taking what you say about EAV to suggest 
that these techs are in a tree, where EAV is at the top of that tree, 
whereas I see it more like EAV is like a subset of RDF and potentially 
compatible with RDF, and RDF is a subset of "potential RDF", N3 - saying 
that, I do also see how for some people, relating EAV to RDF would be a 
good approach to grokking it, but surely we can't just take any EAV data 
and call it RDF, or take any RDF and call it EAV, even just the open 
world semantics and the inherited features of URIs are enough to often 
mean the RDFized data doesn't "say" what was originally intended.



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