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   Re: [xml-dev] The triples datamodel -- was Re: [xml-dev] SemanticWeb per

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Michael Champion wrote:

> Mark's comment that the triples datamodel ' presents information in 
> discrete "packets" ' intrigues me, however.

> ... As I understand the evolution of RDF thinking, the current idea
> is to think of triples as the "assembly language" rather than the
> surface syntax.  What optimism about the semantic web technologies
> that I now have comes largely from the hope that the power of
> XML+Xpath and the power of logical inference enabled by the
> triples/SPO model can be used in harmony, rather than as alternative
> paradigms.

Fitting in with this notion, I have characterized RDF as "information by
the atom" and Topic Maps as "proteins of knowledge".  To quote myself [1] -

"Metaphorically, a statement is like a molecule in which the predicate 
is the chemical bond between two atoms. The only structures in RDF are 
statements, and each statement associates exactly one subject with 
exactly one object. More complex structures, like topic map 
associations, must be built up one statement at a time. ...

Topic maps also have resources, as well as pre-defined structures. They 
can fit together in specific ways, like complex molecules. They aren’t 
as complex as genes, but you can think of them as proteins, building 
blocks for the assembly of complex systems. The tradeoff between RDF and 
Topic Maps is flexibility: a great deal of processing on the one hand 
versus less flexibility but more specialized capabilities on the other."

[1] Explorer's Guide to the Semantic Web.
The book is just being published.  It should be available from the 
Manning site (www.manning.com) electronically in about a week, in paper 
from them in about 3 weeks, and from bookstores in 6-8 weeks.


Tom P


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