Short Essay: Squeezing RDF into a Java Object Model

David Megginson david at
Mon May 3 21:32:08 BST 1999

Roger L. Costello writes:

 > I see where you are going with this - develop an API for RDF.  Out
 > of curiosity, why isn't the SAX API adequate?  After all, RDF is
 > just XML.  Let the application deal with it.  /Roger

I haven't decided if I want to do this kind of thing myself.  I still
owe it to everyone to get moving again with SAX2, after spending so
much of my time and energy on XMLNews.

As for the API, the SAX API would certainly go a long way, but it's
not adequate; after all, Java already has the class,
and XML documents contain characters, so the application could deal
with that too and skip SAX altogether.

What RDF is trying to do is very important -- XML itself is very
low-level, like IP (I know I've beat that analogy nearly to death),
and we can benefit from standard, higher-level layers built on top.
Now it happens that RDF defines a layer for exchanging objects and
their properties, and a good, production-grade engine that could
important and export RDF would be extremely useful.

The XML spec shipped without a data model, and the RDF spec shipped
with a badly underspecified one.  Which is better?

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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