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

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Shelley Powers wrote:

> Someone mentioned recently that as grand as it sounds to just throw out a
> spec when everyone decides that it's "bad", one has to take into account
> existing customers. This includes at least 50+ tools and apis that are built
> on the existing RDF/XML, not to mention applications that are using these
> tools, APIs, and the RDF/XML as written.

As a part of the world's information in electronic form, the amount 
of RDF in the world is trivial - it's not even dust. The problem is 
that if RDF becomes widely adopted as an interchange, as I believe 
it will be, in it's current form it will solve very little. Indeed 
it may be just get it the way of what it was meant to do. Certainly 
it will not meet the aims it was designed for as designed today.

> HTML was also "bad". But when XML came along we didn't throw out HTML
> immediately. No, we came up with what is a compromise -- XHTML. It's a start
> towards moving people in the right direction. It isn't perfect, but few
> things in life are perfect.

RDF is utterly unlike HTML. Comparing HTML and RDF is like comparing 
  ASCII to English.

> The RDF Working Group was given a charter not to rewrite RDF/XML but to
> answer issues and provide as much cleanup and clarification as they could
> but to still remain within that support for previous implementations. It's
> sad that one can't just throw things out and start over again, but that's
> the way of the real world.

Wrong on two counts. First, the proper job of technologies as 
ambitious as RDF is to change the world. Second, RDF *was* thrown 
out and started over from scratch the moment the W3 decided a model 
theory was in order.

> But I do tire of people saying "bad", without specifics and solutions.

Don't be ridiculous. Tim Bray has provided a simplified syntax (not 
the first, but perhaps the first to get the needed attention). As 
for specifics - the specifics are in four years worth of mail 
archives on half a dozen lists, inclusding this one, if you care to 
read it all.

Bill de hÓra



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