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   RE: A certain difficulty

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  • From: Mark Birbeck <Mark.Birbeck@iedigital.net>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
  • Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 10:43:39 -0000

Ron Daniel wrote:
> Mark Birbeck said:
> > I am very surprised, for example, that RDF wasn't used in the
> > implementation of WebDAV. Of course it might have been 
> considered and
> > rejected - but it might just have been seen as irrelevant. 
> [Ron Daniel]  My recollection is that the RDF folks did mention its
> existence to
> some of the WebDAV folks. But WebDAV decided not to do 
> anything with RDF at
> the
> time because RDF was still being specified, and they did not 
> want to put an
> unfinished
> spec onto their critical path. Can't blame them.

This is a very common argument, and I have to say I don't agree with it.
In a fast moving environment you cannot say that *my* standard will go
it alone because *your* standard is not ready. That means either the
time frame would have to be back to back - slowing things down - or
everyone goes off in their own direction. It reminds me of a time when I
was working for a large bank in the City and their programmers were
building an interface to their relational databases that could be called
from all of their programs. When I asked why they weren't using ODBC
they said that it wasn't yet a standard. It's true, at that time it
wasn't (I'm not saying it is now! Just widely used.) But what did they
gain adding yet another way of doing it? In fact they never managed to
finish it 100% because it was so full of bugs, and eventually ODBC did
become much more widely used so they ditched their own one.

WebDAV's rejection of RDF for their critical path was a false economy,
basically. Now everyone is saying 'how do we make RDF and WebDAV
converge?'. It is even more important when it comes to DASL. I would
have thought they *could have* aimed for convergence.


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