[tdwg-tag] RDF N3

Roger Hyam rogerhyam at mac.com
Mon Jan 25 09:52:55 CET 2010

I am currently working on scripts that produce large amounts of Turtle (N3). I can write these scripts at 10X the speed I could write XML based stuff and can open the results in Protege. I therefore love Turtle. 

Whenever I need to utter a triple I more or less just 

echo "<$subject> <$predicate> <$object> . \n";


echo "<$subject> <$predicate> \"$object\" . \n";

for literals. No thought about document order or pushing and popping off stacks or holding XML libraries in memory etc. In fact no use of libraries at all!

There are loads of Turtle parsers around. For example:


It would be very easy to write a Turtle -> RDF/XML converter but you might not like the document structures produced. Just take each line of the Turtle file and echo a single triple statement in RDF/XML. Come to think of it I could hack my scripts to produce this form of RDF/XML but it would just bloat the results by 100%.

I think RDF/XML as a default return syntax is fine but Turtle definitely has its place.

Just my thoughts (rants)


(Rod. You must be writing brittle code if you rely on document structure (XPaths) to pull stuff out of RDF/XML because the syntax could change any time.)

On 24 Jan 2010, at 11:51, Roderic Page wrote:

> I agree with Kevin. XML may be verbose, but there are lots of tools for processing it, virtually none for N3.
> For example, if I harvest RDF by resolving a LSID, I can use XPath to extract the bits I'm interested in, and programming languages such as PHP support this out of the box. Likewise for providers, there are tools that ensure the XML being output is valid.
> Personally, if you're looking for an alternative to XML, N3 isn't the answer (that'd be JSON).
> Regards
> Rod
> On 24 Jan 2010, at 02:25, Kevin Richards wrote:
>> I like the sound of the 'compactness' of the format, but I worry that there is a lack of tools that support the format (ie browsers, mainly). It is quite nice to naturally navigate the rdf world with a standard browser.  But for transfer standards, I suppose this wouldn't matter.
>> Kevin
>> Sent from my HTC
>> ----- Reply message -----
>> From: "Bob Morris" <morris.bob at gmail.com>
>> Date: Sun, Jan 24, 2010 12:08 PM
>> Subject: [tdwg-tag] RDF N3
>> To: "Technical Architecture Group mailing list" <Tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org>
>> Let's make N3 be the recommended RDF representation. It is way more
>> compact and human readable than RDF/XML.  We could even specify a
>> normative conversion tool if necessary.
>> -- 
>> Robert A. Morris
>> Professor of Computer Science (nominally retired)
>> UMASS-Boston
>> 100 Morrissey Blvd
>> Boston, MA 02125-3390
>> Associate, Harvard University Herbaria
>> email: ram at cs.umb.edu
>> web: http://bdei.cs.umb.edu/
>> web: http://etaxonomy.org/FilteredPush
>> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram
>> phone (+1)617 287 6466
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-tag mailing list
>> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
>> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag
>> Please consider the environment before printing this email
>> Warning: This electronic message together with any attachments is confidential. If you receive it in error: (i) you must not read, use, disclose, copy or retain it; (ii) please contact the sender immediately by reply email and then delete the emails.
>> The views expressed in this email may not be those of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited. http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-tag mailing list
>> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
>> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> Roderic Page
> Professor of Taxonomy
> Graham Kerr Building
> University of Glasgow
> Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
> Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
> Tel: +44 141 330 4778
> Fax: +44 141 330 2792
> AIM: rodpage1962 at aim.com
> Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112517192
> Twitter: http://twitter.com/rdmpage
> Blog: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
> Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
> _______________________________________________
> tdwg-tag mailing list
> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.tdwg.org/pipermail/tdwg-tag/attachments/20100125/b6bfd3d5/attachment.html 

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list