RDF work and backwards compat
axel at pike.org
Tue, 01 Nov 2005 12:22:45 +0100
Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> Axel Hecht wrote:
>> I have been doing some thinking about the progress of the RDF engine,
>> and backwards compat is becoming a blocker on the road.
> There is another option, which is to drop RDF from "the platform"
> altogether. Tbird (and suite) could keep shipping the current code in
> mozilla/rdf because they're so tied up in it. With the bookmarks and
> history rewrites, and the XUL templating engine to support XML and
> data-driven templates, Firefox and the platform don't really need RDF
> for anything useful. I think with a little work we could use an little
> RDFXML importer written in JS to migrate the existing uses of RDF
> (mimetypes, extension manager) and then just drop core RDF support
Actually, I'd argue the other way around. The History and Bookmarks
overhaul is getting us much closer to Aurora (take a smiling look at
http://www.mozilla.org/xpapps/aurora/) than we have been for about half
a decade. And that was actually the reason for Netscape to implement RDF
in the first place, AFAICT. I'm seeing quite a few APIs floating around
on wiki.m.o to add metadata to URLs, and they're not really a lot
simpler than the RDF apis as of now.
If you take a look at http://wiki.mozilla.org/Annotations,
nsIVariant getAnnotation(in nsIURI aURI, in wstring aName);
with a namespaced string for the name is just RDF. We may not call it
that way, but that doesn't change what it is.
(http://wiki.mozilla.org/Bookmarks_Data_API is even more involved, I
tried to understand it, I should try again.)
If we have a problem with our API being taylored to our internal
datastructure (as the current RDF API is, and as the new proposed API is
to a similar extent), then maybe it's a better idea to actually make a
bold statement on what a database-backed storage could provide, which of
that we wanted to use and then design an API around that, without
porting the current mozilla/rdf to that.
I'm not arguing that RDF is the cow that can shit golden bullets, but
from our UI, we're moving in that direction, I just wonder why giving
the cow a new name.
Mentioning Aurora, does anyone remember (or remembers someone who may
know) why Aurora didn't succeed? It may be nice to incorporate that
experience into our design discussions.