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   Re: [xml-dev] Partyin' like it's 1999

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Elliotte Harold (elharo@metalab.unc.edu) wrote:
> Eric Hanson wrote:
> can't even think about any other XML problems until this
> > exists.  It's so fundamental and obvious it blows my mind that
> > it doesn't.
> Umm, RDDL?

RDDL is great, and I think it would be a fundamental part of
such an infrastructure.  But I don't think it is or was ever
intended to be a mechanism for third parties to associate
resources with a datatype in a universal fashion.  RDDL alone is
a closed environment where resource associations are under the
control of whoever owns the namespace.  RDDL is authoritative,
first party info -- but that's just part of the equation. 

There are all these amazing XML applications we could build
if we had something like this.

You know the dream of structured blogging where you publish
structured information objects to your blog?  It can't take off
in any horizontally growing way because aggregator designers
today are faced with this chicken and egg situation.  RSS is
extensible, but why should feed producers introduce extensions
which aggregators don't support, and why should aggregators
support extensions that few are using?

The chicken and egg problem could be totally obliterated with a
system where resources could be looked up and incorporated into
aggregators on the fly.  When an aggregator comes across an
unrecognized data type, it could query a resource discovery
server and plug in support for the datatype -- an XSL to convert
it to HTML or Flash or whatever the aggregator wants to, and an
XForm for creating other instances of this datatype.

Another one, a p2p application where resources are described by
XML metadata.  Simple idea, but in today's environment the
system can't grow horizontally, it can't incorporate new
information object types in a dynamic fashion.  With a resource
discovery system, a p2p app could grow horizontally -- it could
incorporate support for new information objects on the fly.

It's apps like this, general apps that can in theory handle
arbitrary XML on the fly, that make use of the true power of
XML.  RDF too.

It's a very important problem in both the XML and RDF worlds.
The solution won't be identical across both, but it will have
some similar characteristics -- a database of associations
between unique identifiers (Qnames, OWL classes, RDF schemas,
..) and supporting resources.



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