XML News from Friday, March 13, 2009

The W3C Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group has posted the first public working draft of Pointer Methods in RDF. "This specification contains a framework for representing pointers - entities that permit identifying a portion or segment of a piece of content - making use of the Resource Description Framework (RDF). It will also describe a number of specific types of pointers that permit portions of a document to be referred to in different ways. When referring to a specific part of, say, a piece of Web content, it is useful to be able to have a consistent manner by which to refer to a particular segment of a Web document, to have a variety of ways by which to refer to that same segment, and to make the reference robust in the face of changes to that document." Briefly, this defines a meta-pointer representation that can encompass XPointers, CSS selectors, Byte offset pointers, line-char pointers, and potentially other forms of pointers into documents. Here's one of the simpler examples from the spec:

<ptr:ByteOffsetCompoundPointer rdf:about="#byteOffsetCompoundPointer"> 
  <ptr:startPointer rdf:resource="#byteOffsetPointer"/>   

All that just to point at the position 255 bytes in. Somehow I think we'll be using #foo for sometime to come.