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Re: proposal to close ISSUE-77 (Re: [ALL} agenda telecon Oct 19)

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:50:05 +0100
Cc: public-rdf-wg Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <07764CBF-0719-4637-8114-37B8B63ECBA7@garlik.com>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On 2011-10-20, at 01:03, Pat Hayes wrote:
> On Oct 19, 2011, at 4:14 PM, Sandro Hawke wrote:
> 
>> On Wed, 2011-10-19 at 14:42 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>> On Oct 19, 2011, at 10:28 AM, Sandro Hawke wrote:
>>> 
>>>> On Wed, 2011-10-19 at 13:32 +0100, Andy Seaborne wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> (1) try to model without using either one, when feasible
>>>>> 
>>>>> which I took as also pushing RDF lists into the "not preferred 
>>>>> category".  That's seems to be letting the technology influence the 
>>>>> modelling too much.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The fact that an ordering construct is an RDF list which "has issues" 
>>>>> isn't the fault of the modeller.
>>>> 
>>>> Right...   What I was trying to get at here was the advice I often hear
>>>> that modelers should not be using this kind of construct at all.
>>> 
>>> Who is giving that advice? And what reasons do they give? OWL uses the vocabulary, so I dont think we should be giving advice which suggests that OWL/RDF is broken or deprecated. 
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Honestly, I'm very confused about this bit.  Perhaps it's best addressed
>>>> by having a little bit in the tutorial showing how something can be
>>>> modeled with lists or without lists, and explaining the tradeoffs.
>>> 
>>> Im not aware of how to model something that needs lists without using lists. Can you give more details?
>> 
>> Mostly I'm thinking of something Bijan said, some years back, although
>> it's been mentioned in recent meetings, too.  It's not about modeling
>> something that needs lists without lists; it's about modeling things
>> that *don't* need lists using lists.
>> 
>> That is, Bijan was saying that he's often seen people use lists when
>> they don't need to.  
> 
> As someone who learned to program using LISP, I find this amusing. There seems to be a presumption underlying all this that lists are to be avoided when possible. Where does this modeling aversion come from? If I could press a lever which caused the whole Semantic Web to convert to LISP overnight, I would do it immediately. 

Heh, it takes all sorts. Graphs are what drew me to semweb tools.

>> A list of children, from oldest to youngest.  A
>> list of employees of a company.  A list of offices, in room-number
>> order.
>> 
>> So the point is that folks should consider whether lists are really the
>> best tool.  If they are, then certainly use them.  But if the order is
>> in the data already, or something, then don't use a list.
> 
> But, at the risk of repeating myself, WHY NOT?

For one thing the reflection of the lists into edges and nodes is just really inconvenient to work with. LISP has all sorts of low-level constructs designed purely to make lists less infuriating to work with, but graph tool sets tend not to.

To me, the rdf:first, rdf:rest (or car/cdr) business just looks like a kludge to work round the lack of real datatypes, but then I didn't grow up with languages based on IBM 704 assembly language macros :)

- Steve

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Received on Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:50:45 GMT

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