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   RE: [xml-dev] RDF

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>>   What is RDF
>>   RCXAU - http://vrtech_tripod.com/
>>   Woo-hoo!
>>   See "The Resource Description Framework in 500 Words "
>>   http://www.citnames.com/2002/11/rdf500.htm
>I thought that the nature of the original challenge to provice a
>high-level explanation that would help someone who didn't know anything
>about XML understand WHY it is useful, as opposed to understanding how
>it works. For instance, my answer didn't use the words "element" or
>"attribute" at all.

A very good point, I agree it's an aspect that I didn't really cover. I read
recently someone referring to a twinkle in the eye people have when the
implications of the RDF approach dawn on them. What they and I neglected to
consider was that many people have been around long enough that for
industrial safety reasons they wear twinkle-proof contact lenses.

>Similarly, I would have expected an answer to the question posed by the
>RCXAU to be at a "why should I care" level. But then, I would have
>answered him by suggesting he start here:
>  * http://www.google.com

Ah, well there I do I have a defense - the question was "what" and that's
what I've attempted to answer in the 500 words. The motivation behind those
words came from frustration with the oft repeated suggestion that RDF is too
hard for everyday folks (bear with me a moment...). I personally don't
believe this is the case, but can accept that all too often the presentation
of RDF gives this impression. In other words, it probably is a fault of the
RDF community (wasn't that worth waiting for ;-). In particular RDF/XML
served cold is impossibly hard, because it leads the reader into thinking
they're looking at just 'yet another XML language'.

But much of RDF *can* be decomposed into component parts (URIs, namespaces,
logical assertions etc) that can be understood in isolation, and the
complication of considering them in combination can be expressed in an
incredibly simple diagram format. A great deal of this stuff (the assertions
and so on, a related structure, the tree) is already there in existing XML
languages, just better hidden.

When time permits I'll have a crack at "why should I care", and the recent
commentary on this list and elsewhere will make damn fine source material.



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