Paul Prescod paul at
Tue Nov 23 08:23:23 GMT 1999

Dan Brickley wrote:
> I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek, but the combination of Paul
> Prescod's msg (which I replied to) and previous SML advocacy seemed to
> be heading in this direction. In other words, that for many
> data-oriented applications, XML's document-oriented heritage makes it
> sometimes challenging to use. I'm far from convinced that a return to
> s-expressions, or the creation of a trivial subset (SML), would be
> useful right now. There are enough X** specifications and applications
> around already to make it a nightmare for non XML-obsessed developers
> trying to figure out how the various piecese of the puzzle
> inter-relate. Inventing a new subset syntax would make it even hard to
> present a coherent picture...

Well they are two different proposals with different (even opposite!)
strengths and weaknesses. Let's try it this way: RDF is hardly taking
over the world today. I claim that that confusion stems primarily from
several factors, but at least one of them is syntax.

The syntax is brutally complex because it reintroduces minimization
hacks like the ones XML took out of SGML. Without the minimization
hacks, the syntax is verbose and hard to read. RDF on SML would make
this problem worse, not better. Removing features from XML can't make
RDF's XML representation more natural. A new syntax, developed from
scratch could of course make RDF more natural.


 * why does a language for describing assertion DAGs have to be used for
"metadata"? does using it for something make that something "metadata"?


 * what's the relationship with XLink...
 * ...XML Schemas...
 * ...XHTML Meta tags...

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for himself
It's such a 
Being always

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