A specification should tell you everything you can do preferably precisely and with examples. The title of the document is RDF/XML Syntax Specification (Revised) and Revised is important. It is, hopefully, a better description of the existing syntax, which Tim Bray was involved in designing. Not me.
We removed some things, added others, but didn't rewrite the core language with its many abbreviations - that would break the contract with the existing deployed users of RDF/XML who have put it in their products - such as for Adobe, IBM, HP, Movable Type, ... as well as the people with data.
Sjord: So examples in a specification don't have to be
The examples in the specification were
designed to explain the all abbreviations. This does not mean that
it would be in any way sensible to use all of them.
(As an example, I particularly don't like
but that's just me).
The RDF Primer
tells you how to use RDF gently and with guidelines
on the best practice - in this case, it doesn't cover all the
Sigh, so much more to respond to and it's time for my holiday. Tim Bray broke my RDF. That example was designed to be used to explain all the abbreviations which is why it has a resource, a blank node, a literal and a resource object. The problems I listed in the paper were in the unrevised syntax. I don't find RPV or the other ideas significantly better at present - it especially doesn't meet what I think are the key equirements as I wrote in A retrospective on the development of the RDF/XML Revised Syntax. I didn't cover any of that at XML Europe at all (it would have been great to talk to Sjord rather than this slow correspondence via the blogosphere). Property XML attributes do not break striping of XML elements.