RDF, again

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Tue Nov 23 12:08:07 GMT 1999

Paul Prescod <paul at prescod.net> writes:

> 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.

Well, RDF is making some progress behind the scenes, but it's hardly a
tidal wave, and I'd agree with Paul that the overly-complex syntax is
the biggest barrier.  The schema spec is nice and simple, though.

> The syntax is brutally complex because it reintroduces minimization
> hacks like the ones XML took out of SGML. 

Yes, that is very unfortunate.

> Without the minimization hacks, the syntax is verbose and hard to
> read.

That's inevitable for any kind of object exchange, though -- it's the
nature of the normalized object-oriented information.

Here's some mostly non-minimized RDF (using only the rdf:type as class

  <foo:Person rdf:about="http://www.foo.com/ids/3645">
    <dc:title>Paul Prescod</dc:title>
    <foo:email>paul at prescod.net</foo:email>
    <foo:employer rdf:resource="http://www.foo.com/ids/0739"/>

  <foo:Organization rdf:about="http://www.foo.com/ids/0739">
    <foo:parent-org rdf:resource="http://www.foo.com/ids/2957"/>

  <foo:Organization rdf:about="http://www.foo.com/ids/2957">

It's a little verbose, but it does keep the data properly normalized
and uniquely identified.  The XMI for this might be a little less
readable, I'd think.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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