Re: Why is RDF hard?

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From: David G. Durand (
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 08:51:51 PDT

At 7:27 AM -0700 8/15/00, Dave Winer wrote:
>This landed on the Web today, I had nothing to do with it. Synchronicity.
>Gotta love it. ;->
>Stop and think XML fans.
>Imho, RSS gained traction because it's simple.
>Taking it into RDF-Land is the biggest boner ever.
>When will XML people get that there are other people out there who don't
>share their love abstraction piled on abstraction.

It's a mistake to lump all XML-people together. I've been an XML
person since the beginning, and an SGML person before that, and I'm
no fan of RDF.

I'm starting to get tired of the Web-folk/XML-folk distinction, since
I don't think that it's meaningful any more. Oddly, the W3C is
drifting rather far (in my opinion) from the original XML
(document-oriented) notions -- and the e-commerce folks are
enthusiastic, but moving in yet another direction. And various groups
(like the RDF folks) are (to paraphrase Hunter Thompson) "dry-humping
the corpse of knowledge representation langauges." This variety is a
good thing, I think, because it means that a simple uniform syntax
can add some level of data transfer and migration between widely
differing domains.

XML won't enable automatic data migration between these radically
different applications, but it's a great impedance reducer, and
generic XML tools like XSLT don't care what your data represents. It
helps reduce, but can't prevent application lock-in, and if customers
learn how to look at the XML their tools generate, it will _really_
help in data migration as applications die or are replaced by better

   -- David

David Durand
Chief Technical Officer
Dynamic Diagrams

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