A bit of synergy this morning?

Didier PH Martin martind at netfolder.com
Fri Dec 17 15:26:16 GMT 1999


The question about how to topic maps and RDF brought me a wave of

Could an RDF "record" be a link?
or could an Xlink be an RDF record?

At first sight this may not be too significant, but if you think more about
it, it brings tremendous advantages. So, let's imagine, for a second if an
xlink extended locator would also be an RDF "record". The link would also
contain meta-information about the linked resource for instance if I have
the following expression:

<specifications xlink:type="extended">
<rdf:desciption xlink:type="locator" xlink:href="http://www.w3c.org/xlink">
  <type>christmas gift</type>
  <description>W3C would be a santa claus for us poor XML

OK, put as resource description more significant information :-)) but the
point here is the following: if an RDF description would also recognize the
Xlink attribute for linkage (so that we can replace the
rdf:about="http://www.w3c.org/xlink" with
xlink:href="http://www.w3c.org/xlink" then the resource description can also
be a link. or vise versa.

The impacts are:
a) more significant links (links that also include meta-information about
the linked resource)
b) Resources descriptions could be used as links (the commutative reasoning)
c) a browser can display a one to many link as a two level context menu as

   rdf specifications ----------------------
			    | W3C documents       |
			    | Didier's suggestion |
			    | examples            |----------------------
			    ----------------------| author: Will johnson |
							  | date: 12/24/99       |
							  | description: bla..   |
The first menu is...a menu, then when a particular locator is highlighted, a
tool tip kind of window is displayed to provide additional information about
the link (the meta information about the resource).
d) probably a lot more I didn't envisionned.

I discovered something observing the W3C output. It seems that each
workgroup creates its own workspace... heu sorry, its own name space and do
not re-use the work of others (have you found a lot of name space element
re-usage among the WGs?). For example, it would be beneficial is the rdf WG
would use the xlink workgroup reference attribute for the resource reference
and vise versa. The xlink group can as well take the rdf:about attribute as
a resource reference. Anyway, if these group where to talk each other or
just exercise their synthetic mind, it would become more obvious that if
they mix a bit their mind space... heu sorry their name space they would
provide us synergistic constructs. Or maybe that it never occurred to
somebody that a resource could be a link or that a link could also be a
resource description. Hoops, did I invented something here or did I
discovered that workgroups do not talk each other?


Didier PH Martin
Email: martind at netfolder.com
Web New York (http://www.mfweb.com)
Book to come soon: XML Pro published by Wrox Press
Products: http://www.netfolder.com

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