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Irish: more RESTful, less semantic?

Perhaps. HTTP, the most RESTful of protocols follows an Irish sentence structure. The Irish language is organized around Verb Subject Object (VSO) structure. This is different for example from English or Swahili, which has a Subject Verb Object (SVO) organization. We should note that RDF is organized like English as are many object oriented languages*. Like RESTful solutions, the VSO structure is uncommon. Unlike RDF solutions, but like object solutions SVO is quite common. Yet the Subject Object Verb (SOV) structure remains the most frequent in natural language, slightly ahead of SVO.

Of course, this has significant implications not just for our software solutions, but for our computer communications in general!

* Here's a thought: if we converted HTTP to an SVO form by putting the request URI in front of the method, how much more work would it take to convert HTTP requests into RDF?

[bob marley: jamming]

April 10, 2004 01:52 AM


Erik Hetzner
(April 11, 2004 02:44 AM #)

This makes no sense. The subject (if there can be said to be one) of an HTTP request is the server, or the client. The URI is an object, i.e. *I* GET /the/uri. Or POST, *I* POST [to] /the/uri such-and-such-data. In this case the uri is an indirect object, the data are the direct objects.

(April 11, 2004 08:42 AM #)

Hmm, arguable point to be sure, and I'll be thinking it depends somewhat on Y and Z:


But it's an interesting viewpoint, pretty topical too given the discussion on MGET etc:


Danny Boy.

Bill de hra
(April 11, 2004 01:33 PM #)

Hi Erik,

I'll confess to being somewhat tongue in cheek about all this... Point taken tho'. I could imagine some folks arguing that servers and clients aren't the subjects (it does seem you could model a vocab around resources/uris as subjects).

Erik Hetzner
(April 11, 2004 06:48 PM #)

I meant no offense. You're right about RDF, though, it is in (more or less) SVO order. An HTTP request, though, if you think about it, is more like an imperative. [server], GET /the/resource [for me]. I don't know how you could model a vocab. with resources as a subjects, except as above in RDF. But RDF is about 1/1000 as expressive as language.

Jon Hanna
(April 14, 2004 10:47 AM #)

There are other cultural influences beyond syntax or (less tounge-in-cheek) vocabuary of ones natural langauge(s).

Like what's with all the contact:nearestAirport stuff in FOAF files? As a Dubliner I should have something like:

<geo:Pub foaf:name="The Yellow House"/>
<geo:Pub foaf:name="The Castle"/>

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