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   A certain difficulty

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  • From: "Greg FitzPatrick" <gf@medianet.org>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 17:52:19 +0100

I was an invited speaker at the W3C/WAP Forum workshop on Position
Advantaged Information Systems (PAIS)at INREA last week.

Both I, representing SKiCal, and the man representing the Open GIS
Consortium, made references to RDF representation of our respective domains.

During the GIS talk the following was heard from the floor.

"We (a working group of 7 technicians from the WAP FORUM Telematics Expert
Group) tried it (RDF).  We tried like hell for over a week's time and we
never got it. Sure we could put some things together with nodes and arcs,
but after that we had no idea where to go.  We downloaded every thing we
could find, only to become more confused."

"XML is a cinch - but with RDF you have to make yourself a choice;  Either
RDF is stupid - or you are!"

I thought this was a pretty brave thing to say, since nobody else in the
room had dared to say (if that was the case) that they had had trouble
understanding RDF.  But then  assenters starting making themselves known
through out the room.

Despite who or what is stupid, I guess I am not as brave as the kid who
called the king naked, in saying that the syntax and model specifications
are not the documents they should be if we are going to win converts to the
RDF cause.

Perhaps they should be tightened up to the terseness of XML 1.0.  Or someone
can find a good pedagogue to take care of the verbosity stuff.

That this group of engineers made a sincere effort to implement RDF and
failed, is saddening


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