Dissillusioned about interoperability.

Dan Brickley Daniel.Brickley at bristol.ac.uk
Fri Oct 8 02:48:31 BST 1999

On Thu, 7 Oct 1999, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> At 05:13 PM 10/7/99 -0600, Kent Sievers wrote:
> >A tool like, say, a markup language other than XML?  One that only had one 
> >way to mark up a simple name/value pair?  That is what we left behind.
> We haven't left anything behind yet, not by a long run.  What I'm talking
> about is a tool that would let you map:
> everybody else's damn structures -> my structures
> where you'd set things up so that you could create mappings one time, and
> then your processor could identify incoming structures and map them to what
> _you_ want.

I've been playing today with using XSL stylesheets to map arbitrary XML
dialects into the RDF resource/property/value world. Seems quite
feasible; took me (XSL newbie) at most a couple of hours from downloading XT (an XSL
processor) and re-reading the XSL spec to having something that could
take Netscape Netcentre's RSS data format (http://my.netscape.com/publish/) and
output XML/RDF using the Dublin Core RDF property set. Doesn't feel like rocket
science, though I've no real feel for the expressiveness of XSL. For
other ways of writing similar data (eg. Microsoft CDF channels would be a good
example) I'd just need to write a different XSL file. I could transform
into either the same data model (directed labelled graphs) or into same
data model _and_ same vocabulary (ie. use Dublin Core's notion of
title/description/subject/date etc instead of Netscape or
Microsoft's...). This feels like a nice spectrum of interoperability
scenarios to be exploring...


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