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Merge @type and @datatype #31

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lanthaler opened this Issue Sep 28, 2011 · 5 comments

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lanthaler commented Sep 28, 2011

@type is used to set the type of the active subject.
@datatype is used to specify the datatype for a literal.

Since @datatype has always to be used with @literal in an object it is kind of redundant. E.g. consider the following:

...
  { "@literal": "4.8", "@datatype": "xsd:decimal" }
...

It would be invalid to create something like

{ "@literal": "Markus", "@type": "foaf:Person" }

I understand that in a RDF world the distinction is necessary, but in JSON-LD we do not need to distinguish the two keywords as they can't be misinterpreted.

So I would like to propose to merge @datatype and @type to @type (ISSUE-31). I think this won't cause any problems in the already implemented algorithms and just require a change from @datatype to @type. The reason behind this is that both, @type and @datatype, specify the "data type" of a construct, the only difference is that the one addresses subjects while the other addresses objects.
Since simplicity is one of the design goals of JSON-LD, the reduction of keywords is desirable.

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lanthaler commented Oct 22, 2011

There was some discussion about this in the telecon on 2011-10-18

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msporny commented Nov 29, 2011

I think consensus based on the discussion noted above was to not merge the two concepts into a single keyword to ensure that authors would have an easier time understanding the differences when marking up both sets of information. Closing the issue, please re-open if you think my read on the discussion is wrong.

@msporny msporny closed this Nov 29, 2011

@lanthaler lanthaler reopened this Nov 29, 2011

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lanthaler commented Nov 29, 2011

Unfortunately I couldn't attend the telecon where that discussion happened. But from reading the transcript I don't think a consensus was found.. I feel quite strongly about that and would really like to further discuss it.

I understand that people with RDF background don't like the idea but they aren't really the target group JSON-LD addresses. The target group are, in my opinion, web developers/programmers and for them specifying a (data)type of something always works the same way - independently of whether it is a class or a primitive data type.

Why should we make it more complicated than we need?

-----Original Message-----
From: Manu Sporny [mailto:reply+i-1763833-
61849aa2e3f568fbf60200f7e686c0718e8b1383-456407@reply.github.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:08 PM
To: Markus Lanthaler
Subject: Re: [json-ld.org] Merge @type and @datatype (#31)

I think consensus based on the discussion noted above was to not merge
the two concepts into a single keyword to ensure that authors would
have an easier time understanding the differences when marking up both
sets of information. Closing the issue, please re-open if you think my
read on the discussion is wrong.


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub:
#31 (comment)

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lanthaler commented Dec 13, 2011

RESOLVED: Merge @datatype keyword with @type - @type will be used to specify both rdf:type for nodes and literal datatypes

Minutes of the 2011-12-13 telecon

gkellogg added a commit that referenced this issue Dec 15, 2011

Merge @datatype into @type. A Note is added in Typed Literals section…
… that indicates that the concepts are actually different. This resolves issue #31.

@gkellogg gkellogg closed this Dec 15, 2011

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