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   XSchema Question 1: RDF

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 29 May 98 15:21:03 UT

How will XSchema use/relate to RDF?

There are several options I can see:

1) XSchema could be designed, top-to-bottom, as an RDF application.  This 
wouldn't necessarily rule out defining XSchema in its own terms with an 
XSchema document or providing a DTD, but it would require that participants 
have significant working knowledge of RDF. On the bright side, I suspect the 
W3C would look more kindly on an RDF implementation, if we can make it work.

2) XSchema could use RDF for the descriptive information contained in XSchema 
documents, but use its own model for defining elements and attributes.

3) XSchema could ignore RDF altogether.  This wouldn't rule out the use of RDF 
to provide metadata information about documents, but would leave RDF out of 
the structural information included in XSchema documents.

4) XSchema could allow the use of RDF as one of many ways to extend the schema 
information provided.

I'm still conducting my own full-scale investigation of RDF.  I'm very 
concerned about several issues:

1) I don't want this discussion limited to the relatively small number of 
people who have figured out RDF.

2) I don't want XSchema to need to make drastic changes if RDF moves suddenly 
- it isn't complete. (From what little I've heard, this doesn't sound likely.)

3) I don't want readers of the XSchema spec to have to bounce between it, the 
RDF spec, and the XML spec to figure out what's going on.  Rigorous definitely 
made it into the goals, but readable and clear remains an important target.

Making RDF useful for this project, if we choose to use it, is going to 
require the creation of a much fuller set of tutorials in particular.  The 
current set (listed below) is notable for its density and its lack of concrete 
examples.  I'm willing to work on this project (I may even be able to get paid 
for some of it) if we decide that RDF is important.  I'd also like to hear 
about other resources already in existence.

Current Useful Resources:

http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-rdf-simple-intro - A 'lighter' intro to RDF
http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-rdf-syntax/ - RDF Spec, current draft
http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may98/miller/05miller.html - "An Introduction to the 
Resource Description Framework"

This is a very large and difficult question, one which directly impacts the 
rest of the work.  I'd like to see us frame an answer within a week, so that 
we can move on to implementation.  As a consensus develops, I'll see what I 
can put into writing.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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