W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > March 2011

Re: What *is* RDF?

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:07:40 -0500
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <AF9D5A60-6FCB-4AC0-A498-55052A92F519@ihmc.us>
To: Alex Hall <alexhall@revelytix.com>

On Mar 31, 2011, at 8:48 AM, Alex Hall wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 8:22 AM, Peter Frederick Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com> wrote:
> From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
> Subject: Re: What *is* RDF?
> Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 03:41:16 -0500
> 
> > Hi Peter,
> >
> > On 25 March 2011 17:49, Peter Frederick Patel-Schneider
> > <pfps@research.bell-labs.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Well, I just whipped up the following, which I think is a first cut at
> >> what I might give to a knowledgable CS person (whether this group covers
> >> enough web developers is a different question, of course).  Of course,
> >> it is a lot longer that Richard's charaterisation of JSON, but this is
> >> only to be expected.
> >>
> >> peter
> >>
> >>                What is RDF(S)?
> >>
> >> RDF(S) (Resource Desription Framework (Schema)) is a logic [but don't be
> >> scared by this] (and data model) for representing information on the
> >> Web.
> >>
> >> RDF(S) uses RDF graphs to represent information.  An RDF graph is a set
> >> of facts or RDF triples, each of which has a subject, a predicate, and
> >> an object.
> >
> > [...] [snip]
> >
> > Thanks, this is quite a refreshing read :) It's not quite "stick it on
> > a t-shirt" material but is in a way a manifesto for RDF's underlying
> > simplicity.
> >
> > I'd suggest one tweak, "An RDF graph is a set of *facts*" seems rather
> > idealistic (in the nicest way). It suggests each triple can be
> > (usefully) interpreted as a true statement about the world. Lots of
> > RDF data is just plain wrong, out of date, malicious
> > (over-enthusiastic SEO) or by some design capturing non-current
> > worldview - logs, archives, etc. The original RDF specs talked about
> > statements. I've tended to use 'claims' more recently but maybe that
> > brings the notion of "who is the claimer here?" prematurely into the
> > foreground. RDF documents that contain falsehoods are presumably
> > somehow "still RDF", and can be managed using the same tool chain -
> > eg. consulted in SPARQL databases.
> >
> > "... uses RDF graps to represent factual information" is a tiny bit
> > softer; I think people would intuitively accept the notion that not
> > every fragment of "factual information" must always be correct. And
> > then maybe, "... is a set of statements or RDF triples, each of
> > which...".
> >
> > cheers,
> >
> > Dan
> 
> My experience in the US is that there are a lot of false facts readily
> available for public consumption and there is no general distinction
> made between true facts and false facts.  However, "fact"->"statement"
> seems like a good change.
> 
> I don't know if I would use "factual information", maybe that is the
> role of RDF graps.
> 
> peter
> 
> I like the term "assertion" in this context -- a bit stronger than "statement" but not quite as strong as "fact".
> 

I like it also, as it is exactly right. A statement that is claimed to be true is an assertion; an assertion that is actually true is a fact. Publishing some RDF is making the claim. Spot on.

Pat

------------------------------------------------------------
IHMC                                     (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   
40 South Alcaniz St.           (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                            (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                              (850)291 0667   mobile
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
Received on Thursday, 31 March 2011 23:08:19 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 26 March 2013 16:25:40 GMT