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Re: [ontolog-forum] fitness of XML for ontology (WAS: [ontology-summit]

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2014 17:46:06 -0500
Message-id: <52F01C2E.4000009@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 2/3/14 3:15 PM, John F Sowa wrote:
> On 2/3/2014 12:55 PM, Duane Nickull wrote:
>> XMl has nothing to do with semantics.
>> XML has the ability to make data portable and can be used to transfer
>> ontological or semantic models, or fragments thereof, between applications.
> I agree with both of those points.
> JSON notation (or the very similar LISP notation) could have been
> adopted by the W3C for exactly the same purposes, but without the bloat
> or excessive coding.  LISP, for example, has a built-in parser that
> requires only two operators: CAR and CDR.  (AKA head and tail.)    (01)

John,    (02)

JSON, JSON-LD, or anything else like that isn't optimal in situations 
where the goal is to use a language to encode and decode structured data 
endowed with relation semantics that are comprehensible to both humans 
and machines.    (03)

When seeking notations where discerning semantics in the data is an 
important point, I find JSON, JSON-LD, and XML based notations to be 
equally deficient. This is why TURTLE notation [1] was created, it 
reduces the possibility of losing entity relation semantics in syntax, 
which remains the biggest issue that continues to derail comprehension 
of what RDF [2] is all about.
> The Google researchers understood those issues very well.
>    That's why
> they adopted JSON.  And the W3C has finally blessed JSON as an option.    (04)

JSON is for programmers that don't want to deal with all the issues that 
swirl around XML. Likewise, many of these programmers don't want to make 
a Turtle parser either.    (05)

Nothing above (re. JSON or XML) stops these programmers making the 
eternal mistake of attempting to reduce semantics to syntax, repeatedly 
[3].    (06)

> In 1999, Guha wanted to use LISP notation for RDF.  He was also
> working at Netscape then, which had designed JSON.  If the W3C had
> let him do what he wanted to do, they would have saved us from the
> bloat, excessive coding, and unreadable garbage.    (07)

RDF/XML, HTML+Microdata [4], HTML+RDFa [5], JSON/RDF, JSON-LD [6] are 
all equally unreadable if semantics matter.    (08)

Wouldn't it be much better if we didn't pit unreadable notations against 
themselves?  Instead, we encourage a "horses for courses" approach 
whereby folks are encouraged to read and write TURTLE when relation 
semantics comprehension matters, and then program using whatever 
notation works best for them -- at the point in time where the prime 
computer programming task is all about encoding and decoding of 
structured data.    (09)

Links:    (010)

[1] http://bit.ly/LISWoI -- Turtle    (011)

[2] http://bit.ly/1fluti1 -- RDF described using RDF statements and 
presented in an HTML document    (012)

[3] http://bit.ly/1elvKZK -- Twitter thread that walks through the 
problem with JSON and Semantics    (013)

[4] http://bit.ly/1etAf2S -- HTML+Microdata (what Google actually favors 
even more than JSON-LD or RDFa re. Linked Data published to the Web 
using 4. chema.org terms)    (014)

[5] http://bit.ly/1fHEure -- HTML+RDFa    (015)

[6] http://bit.ly/1fpw0n8 -- JSON-LD .    (016)

> John
>       (017)

--     (018)

Regards,    (019)

Kingsley Idehen 
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen    (020)

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