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

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>[Shelley Powers]
> >Tim, we need the WG to finish. We have been waiting over a year
>for them to
> >finish. We need something stable that we can work with.
>I worry about this line of thinking and have voiced my concerns
>before on this list.
>With all due respect, this line of thinking just gets us more
>XML Schema, XQuery madness. I.e. fiendishly complex stuff rushed out the
>door because everybody needs it yesterday, everybody is tired, the
>tools will
>handle the complexity...
>I think this is a really, really dangerous line to take.

For a start, the complexities that have been brought up relate almost
entirely to the serialization, not the model. Also, in general having
something stable to work from means that unnecessary complexities can be
more easily identified, the target isn't moving. People can read from the
same page (once Shelley's written it ;-)

Most significantly, it also means that useful work can be done *now*, even
if it is perhaps harder work than it could be.

> >I'll be honest, I don't care about the human readable/writeable
>aspects of
> >RDF/XML as much as I do care that there are tools and APIs that manage it
> >all for me.
>I'm afraid, I take a diametrically opposite view. Things should be as
>complex as necessary but not more complex.

Yes they *should*, but that's the ideal world.

>Punting to tools and APIs to salvage mankind from complexity of its
>own making is one of the main reason this industry is constantly
>battling the alligators rather than clearing out the swamps.

Tools are *good*. APIs are *good*. Swamps are *good*. (no longer
metaphorical on the last one)

In this instance, the prettiness of RDF/XML syntax is relatively
insignificant when it comes to actually using the stuff. As long as the
model is reasonably solid. The format is secondary.

Coincidentally, just before turning to this list I posted a comment on
Shelley's weblog [1] related to this issue. Punting to a tool I can copy &

The reality is that we are using absolutely incomprehensible binary formats
all the time, and the ability to work with constructs that are abstracted
away from the underlying format is one big reason why there's now a computer
in most houses in the Western world. To move beyond the current state of
information/knowledge management developers will have to cut the umbilical
to the current text representations and move up a layer. This isn't as
radical as it sounds - when you're dealing with data in a relational DB, how
the stuff is stored is pretty irrelevant to the developer, they are only
interested in the schema and views of the data. The fact that XML folks have
come to expect to be able to see their instance data as legible text is
rather a quirk of history. It's useful for now though.


[1] http://weblog.burningbird.net/fires/000661.htm


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