other formats (Re: [Dev] 4Suite RDF and ZOD)

Aaron Swartz me at aaronsw.com
Sun Nov 3 08:15:06 PST 2002

Hi, David! I haven't caught up on the mailing list yet, so apologies if 
I'm repeating what's been said.

On Saturday, November 2, 2002, at 02:48  PM, David McCusker wrote:
> The phrase "RDF-based PIM" makes it sound like RDF is somehow 
> pervasive in the architecture so it cannot be replaced with something 
> else. [...] Other ways of writing content persistently might join 
> Morgan's RDF prototype.

I understood this to mean that they were adopting the RDF philosophy 
(flexible data structures, pervasive URIs, fully-extendible 
descriptions of everything); I certainly hope they aren't planning to 
store it as RDF/XML.

RDF is sort of a natural way to think of this data, but that doesn't 
mean the APIs need look like addTriple, getTriples (indeed, my TRAMP 
library for Python[1] makes RDF look like regular objects) nor that the 
storage format encode things in RDF. There are many APIs and backends 
that can be used without sacrificing the flexibility of the philosophy.

[1] http://www.aaronsw.com/2002/tramp

The important features to me are that everything is intertwingled, with 
links from mail to address book to recent messages to calendar appoints 
everywhere, and that I can always add more attributes and values to 
nodes. In this sense, the RDF philosophy is that we make simple 
statements (this email is about the Chandler project; this folder 
should show all messages about the Chandler project) rather than 
placing things in some sort of hierarchy (new folder with name 
Chandler; move this email to the Chandler folder).
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com]

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