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   Re: [xml-dev] ANN: White Paper - "Using OWL to Avoid SyntacticRig or Mor

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> uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com (Uche Ogbuji) writes:
> >> The subject line of this message, though, suggests pretty strongly
> >> that some folks see semantics as a way out of a syntactic trap.  I
> >> believe those folks are fooling themselves at best.
> >
> >I've written a *lot* of parsers in my career.  Tweaking semantics in
> >aid of syntactic problems and vice versa is a class of technique I've
> >used innumerable times.  In fact, many of these techniques are well
> >known and old hat.  My experience, and that of many others in the
> >field is shows practical results that belies any notion of "fooling". 
> >I'm sorry if your experience is different.
> Are we talking about the same thing?  
> In the case of XML 1.0 syntax/semantics and parsers, what you say
> reflects my own experience. On the other hand, much of this conversation
> - starting from Roger's article - is about interpretation that seems way
> above 'parsing' to me.  Maybe there are two or more meanings for that
> word, each appropriate in its own context.

That may be too narrow a view of parsing.  I certainly don't see, for example, 
the following two tasks as fundamentally different:

1) Reading C++ source code and setting up a run-time and symbol table
2) Reading UML descriptions and setting up an object repository for easy 
aggregation and reuse

True, they are at different levels of abstraction, but that means nothing in 
practice.  It's turtles all the way down.  They also use different rules for 
parsing, but that's an implementation detail.  From the POV of the class od 
problems they solve and the concepts I employ with them in solving practical 
problems, they're essentially the same thing.

To me, I can easily substitute:

1) XML
2) RDF

And I do so all the time in my work.

> >I guess I'll just go on fooling myself, since it seems so helpful to
> >my productivity.
> If it works for you, great.  Just don't try to standardize that on me.

Well, we have separate issues here, and I think we'll get farther by keeping 
them separate:

* Some developments in XML have been unfortunate, and a subset of those has 
aparently come from ambitions towards an RDF/XML syntax (particularly 
namespaces based on contextual notations rather than architectures)

We agree on this, but it's not a failing of RDF, but rather too-expedient 
thinking by some people who happen to be involved in it.

* Some people choose to use RDF towards semantic transparency.

This is where we disagree.  I like it, you don't.  Tant mieux.  But I don't 
see how the fact that some like RDF imposes anything on you.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com
Gems From the [Python/XML] Archives - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/04/09/py-xm
Introducing N-Triples - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-thi
Use internal references in XML vocabularies - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerw
EXSLT by example - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-exslt.html
The worry about program wizards - http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=7238
Use rdf:about and rdf:ID effectively in RDF/XML - http://www-106.ibm.com/develo


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