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

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[Trying to do a better job of trimming headers]

> uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com (Uche Ogbuji) writes:
> > [much wisdom and some questionable assertions about the 
> > substitutability of XML and RDF snipped]
> >
> >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.
> It doesn't, provided two things: 
> * I can safely process documents I receive as XML without having to
> create RDF graph structures.

I think I understand this.  Some people insist on imposing RDF structures on 
regular XML documents, such that you have to process them using RDF models in 
order to do anything useful with them.

I agree this is a problem and a very bad one.  The reason I support RSS 1.0 is 
that even though it insists on RDF/XML, which I dislike probably as much as 
you do, its authors actually did make an effort to design it so that it you 
could ignore the RDF bits and just extract what you want using, say, simple 

In general, I think that systems that push RDF-think into XML are B.A.D. (Tim 
Bray meaning, again).

> * I'm not required to add information I regard as noise (URIs, various
> RDF-namespaced bits, etc.) to my own documents.

I think this is where we'd disagree over, say RSS 1.0.  I see such as 
syntactic inconveniences (well, except for namespaces which are a semantic 
inconvenience for any given definition of "semantic" :-) ).

But this is a natural area where folks will disagree.  I'm glad we've 
clarified this.

> Unfortunately, I see no guarantee of such things, and indeed, the
> opposite.  Liam Quin's supposed simplification of XML at Extreme last
> year proposed RDF noise as a good thing,

Well, you know there's no chance in hell of that becoming the true future 
shape of XML any more than YAML, so I wouldn't worry too much about this one.

> while Roger's proposal (and
> lots of similar proposals) encourage heavy reliance on RDF graphs to
> determine meaning.

But by my understanding, he is proposing an out-of-band usage, so that if you 
prefer not to use this, you can just use the XML as is.  I'm not seeing where 
the ontology is required for basic XML processing.

Maybe I misread Roger's proposal?

> Directed graphs and hierarchical containment are only barely compatible
> on the best of days.

I disagree strongly here.  First of all, there are any number of algorithms 
for inetrechange between the two.  Secondly, even XML supports directed graphs 

A tree is mathematically nothing but a degenerate form of a directed graph 
(and more specifically a directed acyclic graph).  And don't trip, 
"degenerate" is purely a mathematical usage :-)

> I wish I didn't have to explain that quite so
> often.  I guess I have to conclude that there are certainly problems out
> there where the incompatibilities aren't so obvious, and that people who
> work in those fields don't recognize them.

Maybe I need to understand more clearly what you mean by 

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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