Jon Udell on RSS and namespaces

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I love being nothing more than a whiteboard at times….

Jon Udell writes today:

What we have now is ‘entity escape and stuff in description’ and I doubt anyone will argue that’s good. Like Dan, I don’t know which of the other two options is best. I do know, however, that I can easily shred an XML document with XPath and XSLT, pick out subsets – whether or not they’re namespace-qualified – and do useful things with them. I don’t believe that doing that, without first settling on a higher-order semantic model, is a bad idea. Far from it. It’s abundantly clear to me that we’ve wasted years, that we must do that experiment ASAP, and that it will yield new killer applications. No agreement on the higher-order model need be reached as a precondition. If some higher-order model is going to ultimately prevail, then a lot of existing data will have to get converted into it. Would you rather convert ‘entity-escaped-and-stuffed-in-the-description’ data, which is all we have now, or XML data that you can at least shred and manipulate? That choice seems transparently clear to me.

Finally, a plea to all concerned. Let’s stop punishing RSS syndication for its success by asking it to carry the whole burden of XML usage in the semantic Web.

I wasn’t aware that any of us were asking RSS to carry the burden of the semantic web – I’ve long said that RSS is a simple syndication format, and that we should stop trying to stuff the world into it because extraneous data is outside the syndication business domain.

Having said this, I have no problems with the RSS folk, or the Pie/Echo/Atom folk, working on namespace issues and wish them the best. However, I don’t think we, who use and prefer RDF/XML have to wait for them. Or break a working model just to play with the boys who would prefer to play by themselves.

I understand where Dan Brickley is coming from, and it sounds like communication has again moved from the weblog to private emails, without the messiness of us all that don’t ‘go with the flow’ getting in the way. However, Dan has not come back to me with how we’re going to handle context.

Dan? I’m here. Let’s chat.

If you can get XML namespaces to work and don’t have to use encoded blobs of text to work around limitations with RSS, great. But I won’t see the RDF model broken to get there.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email