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   Re: [xml-dev] Meta-somethingorother (was the semantic web mega-permathre

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  Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

> At 12:53 PM -0400 6/11/04, Mark Baker wrote:
>> So the value add of RDF/XML over vanilla XML is the same as the value
>> add of having a standardized database schema over the alternative of
>> not having one.
> I'd call that a value-subtract. If that really is all there is to RDF, 
> then RDF is fundamentally, absolutely broken and actively harmful. I 
> cannot imagine working with a single database schema for all my needs, 
> much less all of everyone else's. If that's really what RDF is 
> shooting for, then I have to conclude that RDF is evil and should be 
> actively opposed. But just maybe, that's not really what RDF's trying 
> to do, and it's not so evil. :-)

Right, that is just plain wrong. RDF itself is hardly a standardized 
database schema. That is akin to saying that since all database schemas 
are written down on paper as a sequence of characters, that Unicode is 
a standardized database scheme.

What Mark is trying to say is that the advantages of RDF, like Unicode, 
are better than the disadvantage of not having RDF, or Unicode. It 
remains to be seen if triples are this powerful -- we could, for 
example, get by with tuples as encoded as lists -- indeed KIF has many 
proponents, and I'm sure that if RDF were to disappear from the face of 
the earth, that people could take off with KIF where RDF was left 
behind. But similarly there have been alternatives to Unicode, and what 
Mark is trying to say is that there are advantages to having standard 
languages with which to communicate. RDF/OWL is not then a schema 
*itself*, rather a way to write down and communicate schemas.



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