On Wed, Mar 08, 2006 at 12:19:35PM -0800, John Sowa wrote:
> XML and URIs are as "orthogonal" as anything could ever be.
> JS>> Other than the choice of an XML-based syntax, there's nothing
> >> about RDF and OWL that makes them any better suited to the WWW than
> >> SQL.
> CM> Well, that's a pretty big "other than"! Creating an XML-based
> > language for publishing ontologies in which names are URIs was
> > genius.
> If you want to talk about orthogonality, note that these three ideas
> were developed independently and have been in widespread use since the
> late 1960s:
> 1. Importing external files into a language text.
> 2. The Arpanet/Internet naming conventions for files.
> 3. The GML-SGML-HTML-XML conventions for marking up
> The first two are very important, and using them together is a
> "no-brainer", as they say. The *ML family has also been a very
> good approach for marking up documents for the past 37 years.
> But the idea of using a document markup format as a general purpose
> language format is questionable, to say the least. (01)
I agree with this, although it appeared I was praising the choice of XML
per se. To the contrary, the target of my praise was the combination of
a *standardized* language + URIs, which simultaneously gives us an
effective namespace mechanism (which alone solves a host of problems)
and enables us to take advantage of the web's infrastructure (02)
> An HTML/XML tag that specifies LANG=xxx has proved to be much more
Sure, I agree -- though note it will take standardization on the order
of RDF/OWL for every desired LANG. (04)
> CM> And for all its superficial ugliness, a standardized XML-based
> > syntax cuts right through religious wars about surface grammatical
> > form.
> Oh, please. Just look at PHP. Without any support from the W3C,
> it rose from nowhere to become one of the major web development
> languages -- and it does *not* use XML syntax for the processing
> language. (05)
Again, John, you are missing the (somewhat obscurely made) point here --
the win is a standardized ontology language, not the use of XML. I
don't think we disagree much here. (06)
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