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   Re: RDF vs. SOAP serialization (oh yeah, and XMI and XTM)

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  • From: Dave Winer <dave@userland.com>
  • To: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>,David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 10:24:36 -0800

Uche, as was said off-list, I think our points of view are so different that
we're basically different species cohabitating the same planet. I loved the
kitten kaboodle line. Anyway at some point our paths will meet, in fact they
already have, RDF is showing up in my face and I'm still trying to figure
out what it means! Onward ho. Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: "Uche Ogbuji" <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
To: "David Megginson" <david@megginson.com>
Cc: "xml-dev" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: RDF vs. SOAP serialization (oh yeah, and XMI and XTM)

> > Dave Winer writes:
> >
> >  [on static data representation]
> Oh, is that what he was getting at?
> >  > If that's what RDF is going to be used for I'd strongly recommend
> >  > using the serialization format in XML-RPC or SOAP. They both work
> >  > incredibly well, and are supported in lots of environments and are
> >  > understandable, very simple stuff that allows data structures to be
> >  > exchanged between apps on all platforms. Something to think about?
> >  > Dave
> >
> > I don't think that XML-RPC is really in the running -- I'd suggest
> > that the main candidates for a general-purpose XML data format right
> > now are RDF and SOAP (as Dave mentions), with XMI and XTM running a
> > very, very distant third.
> OK, David, so maybe you can help me out here.  Why would any one even
> suggest RDF qua RDF as a "general-purpose XML data format"?  What does
> this even mean?  Does this mean that if I don't have a schema in mind,
> that I wrap my xml in an <rdf:RDF> element and conform to the RDF M&S?
> Yikes.  even an RDF booster such as I would scarecely suggest such a
> thing.
> If the data were more POP-oriented, I would probably use Docbook.  If it
> were more MOM-oriented, I'd probably use WDDX.  If the data were a stretch
> for either format, I'd probably just spend the little time it takes to
> come up with a workable custom schema.  In any case, I'd take a few
> moments to see if someone had done the like before.
> But for me to seize on RDF would, IMO be making the false assertion that
> every arbitrary data field is metadata.  Yes one man's data is another's
> metadata, but trying to have a workable metadata graph is pretty
> difficult when the whole kitten kaboodle is shoe-horned into the
> structure.
> SOAP serialization does make more sense here, but frankly it's too ugly
> for me to adopt for my use.  Note that this is more of a visceral opinion
> right now, just having completed a little SOAP project.  It's not the
> product of detailed analysis.
> > On the other hand, both specs suffer from painfully muddled design --
> > the RDF spec dumps reification and knowledge-representation junk on
> > top of what would have been a simple foundation, while the SOAP spec
> > mixes protocol and format (-20 each).
> I say "bingo" on your criticism of SOAP, but I don't see your point about
> RDF.  RDF is _designed_ for knowledge-representation.  How can it be other
> than it is?  Again, I don't think it's designed for general-purpose data
> format.
> --
> Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
> uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
> Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
> 4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
> Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python


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