Re: RDDL (was RE: Negotiate Out The Noise)
Well, I hope I won't be as flamed as Paul, but I have a few remarks too that make me reluctant to use RDDL. 1) Scalability. With only a few arcroles (or purposes ?), a single RDDL document is readable. What if the number of associated resource grows ? What is the benefit for a human reader to have to download a 500K document to have a description of ... 2) ... a description of what ? A namespace ? If RDDL describes a namespace, then let's be careful when providing arcroles for DTD and schemas. The case where one namespace = 1 DTD and 1 schema document for each schema language that you want to support is, like Paul wrote, a dangerous degradation of the namespace purpose. I don't have any authority on the subject (and I'm sure you people won't miss the opportunity to prove it to me), but I firmly believe that the interest of namespace resides in allowing tags from different namespaces to be mixed in the same document without name collisions. If I'm supposed to use RDDL to find the proper schemas or stylesheets or whatever, where can I find a RDDL document for this XHTML document that contains tags from the MathML namespace ? At the XHTML namespace URL, or at the MathML namespace URL ? It's funny to notice that the same problem exist for RDDL document themselves, since they mix the (X)HTML, RDDL and XLink namespaces... The problem is that with namespace-centric view of RDDL just prevents document types that can mix tags from different namespace from having an associated RDDL document (if it doesn't, show me the URL where I can find it), resulting in a big hole in the practical usability of RDDL. 3) It is a bit related to the scalability issue, but how do you handle internationalisation ? RDDL contains human-readable text, that's fine, but not everybody can or want to read English. So will you have all possible translation of the human-readable text in the SAME RDDL document ? If not, where should the namespace URL point to ? The English version ? Why ? How are you going to ensure consistency between various translations of the RDDL documents, since XLinks to resources are embedded within the human readable text ? If I have to add a new resource in the English version, do I really have to scan the Japanese version, not understanding anything I read, until I find the place where I suspect the resource XLink should go ? If think that remark 2 is the biggest show-stopper for RDDL, whereas 1 and 3 would appear if RDDL gained momentum, that is to say, too late to change anything. The beginning of a solution could be to drop the 1 namespace URL = 1 RDDL document containing a mix of ALL related resources embedded in HTML with english text. Resource description is of great interested, but is should not be treated so lightly as RDDL does. The entry document found at the URL could purely XML with no english, the human-readable documents being linked as resources, with different versions for different languages residing in different resources. Yes, I know, this would remove the great joy of seeing something nice immediatly appear in your browser, but it's nothing an 'appropriate' stylesheet can solve. This is beginning to look like RDF... But nobodys loves RDF, due to its W3C origins, right ? Regards, Nicolas
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