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Re: RDDL and user interface


eric hanson target
Jonathan Borden (jonathan@o...) wrote:
> > It's a complex problem that tries to take into account all the
> > ways an instance can be used!  Such is the nature of
> > generalization...less than trivial, and I sure don't have it
> > figured out.
> 
> RDDL provides *a* solution to this problem, namely that you resolve the 
> namespace URI, get back a representation (document) and this tells you 
> something about the namespace.
> 
> An RDF triple store might provide, assuming some things were worked 
> out, a different mechanism for finding out about a namespace URI e.g. a 
> triple store might contain various triples that reference the URI.

Before deciding on RDF or any other data format, I think it's
important to figure out the structure of a resource description.
If a resource can be sufficiently described using a tree
structure, forcing users to author it in a graph language would
be IMHO a big mistake.

I have a lot of thoughts about RDF and why I think many of the
benefits of RDF can be achieved in a simpler and more elegant
fashion using plain XML with schema languages that lend
themselves to extensibility, but I'll try to avoid that rant for
as long as possible :)

> If you read through the xml-dev archives, we had very early on 
> considered including a mime-type property -- actually this was my 
> initial suggestion, but then we decided this was redundant -- the 
> nature can serve as a URI encoding of a mime-type as is described in 
> the RDDL document.

This is the mime type of the resource itself, no?  In the case
of a transformation, there is a second mime type for the results
of the transformation.  This I guess should be refered to as
"target mime type", not just mime type.

So the only use of target mime type that I can think of is with
transformations.  There surely are other properties that would
describe resources of a certain nature but not be appropriate
for other natured resources.  It lends itself to greater
granularity beyond nature and purpose:  All resources have a
nature and a purpose, but beyond that maybe the structure of
descriptions should be tailored to resources of that nature.

> A key, perhaps *the* only unique characteristic of RDDL is that it is 
> intended to be human readable. If you drop the requirement for human 
> readability RDDL is an utter waste of time, and you'd be far better of 
> using RDF directly. 

But there's still a spec here to be written.  Even if RDF was
decided upon, there has to be some kind of standardized way to
describe resources beyond anyone can say anything about
anything.

I like RDDL as a starting place, but maybe what I'd like to see
is some kind of sister spec for non-human-readable RDDL.

Also, if an RDDL doc is decoupled from the namespace URI, yet
still expected to be associated with it, it's no longer just a
resource directory description.  It's a resource directory
description /about a namespace/, and it has to include the
namespace as part of the doc's data.  So maybe it's a different
spec all together.

Eric

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