N4 is another notation for RDF like languages. It named N4 because it is "after" N3

Table of contents
1 The Syntax
2 A short example:
3 Comments about the example
4 Metaclasses
5 WebResourceDescriptionLanguage

The Syntax

The N4 syntax is intentionally very simple:

N4 = '(' *(uri (uri | String | N4)) ')'

A short example:


   n4ns:n4 http://n4.org/n4/ 

   n4ns:p http://x.org/personal/

   n4ns: http://x.org/docs/1/

p:Person (a n4:Class n4:dof (li x:address li x:name) ) p:Address (a n4:Class n4:dof (li p:city li p:street) ) (li p:city li p:street)(a n4:Property n4:range n4:String) :me (a p:Person p:name "me" p:address (a p:Address id :me/address p:city "Paris" ) ) :me/address (p:street "tur")


Comments about the example


RDF based notations use a metaclass based design which can be used to represent things in a very concise way. Lets recall that a Metaclass is a class whose instances are also classes.

Metaclasses allow to define class variables, i.e. slot values hold by classes. Class variables are naturally shared by all instances of the class.

mc (a n4:Class n4:subClassOf n4:Class)
(li :fcolor li :bcolor) (a n4:Property n4:domain :mc)
c (a :mc :fcolor "red")
o1 (a :c)
o2 (a :c)

  • :o1 and :o2 are instances of c and share the value of the slot :fcolor.
  • :c is a class whose class is a metaclass
  • :c is also a regular object.

Shared slots allow to use an interesting idiom : only define objects which are classes, and derive them following the two relations is-instance-of AND is-subclass-of. Lets note this double relation by the keyword "as".

c1 (as :c :bcolor "white")
c2 (as :c1 :fcolor "red")
c3 (as :c1 :fcolor "blue")
c4 (as :c3 :bcolor "red")


Here is presented the WRSDL format, which allows to type web resources on a given site, and to map various url schemes to these resources.

An example:

(n4ns: http://n4.org/wrsdl/s1

n4ns:r http://n4.org/wrsdl/1.0/schema

site (a r:Site r:name "example site"

  li (a r:Resource r:name "home" id :home

     li (a r:Get r:description "the home page "

        li (a r:Accept r:mime "text/html")

        li (a r:Accept r:mime "application/n4" r:class :Home)



  li (a r:Resource r:name "welcome" id :welcome r:description "splash"

     li (a r:Get 

        li (a r:Accept r:mime "image/gif" id :welcome/gif)

        li (a r:Accept r:mime "image/png" id :welcome/png)




xmap (a r:Mappings r:host "n4.org:4445" r:context "/example/s1")
map/home (as :xmap
  li (a r:Mapping r:of :home

     li (a r:Path r:value "/Home")


map/welcome (as x:map
  li (a r:Mapping r:of :welcome

     li (a r:Path r:value "/Welcome")

     li (a r:Parameter r:name "size" r:type :sizes)



sizes (a r:Enumeration li "small" li "big" li "huge")

Home (a r:LinkSequence)

Detailed comments.

" size=20>


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