Friday, February 13, 2004

Brain Dead Farting - I Don't Think in Triples

There looks to be a nice response on TriX. I was fairly aware that what I wrote I'd hoped it was what people would've thought of before. Had a simple "here's the XSLT you boob" and be done with it. I guess it's time to read those 39 odd emails.

Okay, that doesn't seem have been enlightening - especially when there's no response to your mail. It's not supposed to be human readable but someone has to write the XSLT for the "user".

Eric Jain has had a similar experience with the RDF/XML syntax that I have : "Interestingly, when presented with the choice of working with an XML or an RDF/XML representation of the same data, our developers (somewhat familiar with XML, not RDF) choose to use the RDF version (to my great relief :-). The data is relatively complex, with lots of cross-referencing, which the RDF/XML syntax can handle in a simple and consistent way."

Alberto Reggiori said: "but the real point here is how much work a user/programmer has to put into writing and managing RDF descriptions - even though RDF is supposed to be for machines, the poor users will have most of time mark-up their data into their templates of scripts, JSP, ASP and so on. TriX is definitively a step ahead compared to RDF/XML - added DTD, XMLSchema (then kinda "deterministic" markup) and named graphs are very cool - but still too complicated for the average human being to use, due he/she has to think in terms of statements, subjects, predicates, objects, collections, reification and so on. Definitively, such an "assembly like language" is very good for general purpose RDF toolkits and frameworks, and more experienced users. But the major part of XML folks out there do not have a clue (or few) why they have to "denormalize" their data all the time into RDF constructs."

After reading the TriX paper again, I still wonder what is the exact problem that's trying to be solved. I don't think it's made the problem of converting RDF to XML any easier, it is significently more verbose than RDF/XML or N3, some of the small things like named graphs are useful but not by themselves. Using XQuery to query it would be slow and rather cumbersome, it's much better to use a triple store.
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