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   Re: [xml-dev] RDF and the new releases

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Matt Gushee:

> As
>     Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> > There's a serious divide between the two approaches.  I'm very impressed
> > by some of the people who do regularly cross between XML and RDF and
> > that they can keep their heads straight as they do so.
> Yes, and I think the RDF model is not at all hard to understand:
> ignoring the standard terminology, it's all about objects with named
> properties. What could be simpler? But the XML syntax seems to obscure
> the simplicity of the model. I believe the source of the confusion is
> that people expect the structure of an XML-RDF document to reflect the
> structure of the underlying graph ... but very often it doesn't.

Yes, Matt.  You're exactly right.  Even as long as I've been using RDF, it 
takes me a while to look at a modest RDF/XML example and picture the graph in 
my head.

I think this is a criticism of RDF/XML, but I don't know that I have a ready 
alternative approach.

The main problem is that XML is hierarchical, and so it is almost inevitable 
that one will have to scatter all the properties of a node around the whole 
document, making it hard for a human to piece together.  To some extent, this 
is inevitable because it's not easy to represent graphs in any textual format, 
but the verbose overhead of XML makes it harder.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com
Python&XML column: 2. Introducing PyXML - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/09/25/p
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 1 - http://www.webservices.org/ind
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 2 - 'http://www.webservices.org/in
Serenity through markup - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6807
Tip: Using generators for XML processing - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork


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