Wednesday, 27. January 2010

Input for a possible RDF 2.0

There are activities towards updating the RDF standard.

Here are my thoughts on what problems and solutions we have:

Leobard's thoughts about needed changes to RDF.

Problems:

1) Reification is not an aesthetically appealing model because it forces the triple/statement structure on quads. Therefore it is not used much and discouraged by some "named graph" enthousiasts. Nevertheless, the need to identify and annotate single triples and their values is there.

2) rdf:value, datatype, language, and reification all address the same need and are redundant.

3) The relation between a web resource (i.e. a web page in html) and the RDF document (named graph) containing the RDF data of the web page can NOT be expressed with the RDF standard. There exist various, scarcely documented methods such as the HTML Header tag "" or 303 redirects, or content negotiation. Some of these methods are described in "Cool Uris for the Semantic Web"). This has been causing personal bellyaches for me since editing "Cool Uris for the Semantic Web". It is not aesthetic as this central feature of linked data and RDF can't be represented in RDF.

4) Statements about reified triples must be possible for sets of triples.

Suggestions for Solutions: [syntax: problem->solution]

1)->S1) On the core level of RDF, add an URI identifier to a triple. Let Serializations allow to add this URI to the triple. Add a triple identifier to the core of the spec and APIs.

2)->S2) Deprecate rdf:value.

3)->S3) In RDFS we already hint at HTTP dereferenciation and linked data in rdfs:seeAlso and its subproperty rdfs:isDefinedBy. In foaf we have foaf:homepage that links a resource to its web page. In SKOS we had skos:isSubjectOf (but it was removed) I propose """ rdfs:describes a rdfs:Property; rdfs:domain rdfs:Resource; rdfs:range rdfs:Resource; rdfs:comment "The subject RDF resource is metadata for the object document." """ . This solution seems to add problems though, as the relation between document and resource is dynamic and ever changing.

3)->S3.1) Leave it as is. The problem of linking between HTML and RDF representations is on the level of HTML and not on RDF.
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