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Re: [TED] rif:text datatype

From: Michael Kifer <kifer@cs.sunysb.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 12:04:05 -0500
To: Jos de Bruijn <debruijn@inf.unibz.it>
Cc: RIF <public-rif-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <14920.1195578245@cs.sunysb.edu>


Sorry, I missed this email. The short answer is that
I fail to see an issue here. I also do not see any issue with
<issue 42>.


	--michael  

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> I am writing this e-mail in partial fulfillment of action 369 and to
> report on the status of the rif:text specification problem.
> 
> Background of the problem:
> For the purpose of representing text in different natural languages and
> identify these natural languages, RDF has a specific kind of symbol
> called "plain literal with language tag", which is a combination of a
> string and a language tag (e.g. "wine"@en, "vin"@fr).  For the purposes
> of compatibility with RDF and being able to write rules about RDF
> graphs, it was decided (*) in RIF to allow users to write such strings
> with language tags.
> However, it was also decided in RIF that, for the purpose of uniformity,
> (**) we only have one kind of symbol which is a combination of a string
> and an IRI identifying a symbol space (a datatype is a special type of
> symbol space).  So, we cannot use plain literals with language tags
> directly in RIF.
> In order to allow users to write strings with language tags but still
> satisfy the requirement that there is only one kind of symbol in RIF, it
> was proposed to create a new datatype (rif:text) with an appropriate
> definition of a lexical space, a value space, and a lexical to value
> mapping.  The datatype is defined in the current draft of the BLD
> specification [1].  There was a subsequent understanding that it would
> be a good idea coordinate the definition of the datatype with the XML
> Schema working group, since this working group has defined many
> datatypes which we are using.
> 
> I sent an e-mail [2] to this working group asking whether they have
> considered creating such a (built-in) datatype, or whether they would be
> interested in coordinating the efforts on the specification of this
> datatype.
> 
> Response from the XML schema working group:
> As I expected, the reply I received [3] said that the XML schema working
> group would probably not be interested in specifying such a datatype,
> because it is not "simple" enough; values are pairs of strings and
> language tags, rather than atomic values. In the XML world, one would
> use a complex type for this, using elements or attributes for specifying
> these two separate things (string and language tag).
> Unfortunately, this doesn't really help us, because of the decision (**)
> to have only one kind of symbol (combination of string and symbol space
> IRI). [4]
> 
> Next steps:
> As I see it we basically have two options:
> a) not change anything: we already have a specification of the rif:text
> datatype which we can use for the representation of strings with
> language tags.  The XML schema working group does not appear to be
> interested in coordinating the specification of this datatype, so we
> will just do it on our own (in fact, we have already).  One might argue,
> though, that it is not our business to specify datatypes.
> 
> b) drop the constraint (**) that we only have one type of constant
> symbol, and specify a specific kind of symbols for writing down strings
> with language tags.  The drawback of this option is that the language
> definition might seem somewhat more complex.  Furthermore, if we go down
> this path, I think we should define special kinds of symbols for other
> classes of symbols as well (specifically, IRIs, local symbols); there
> would no longer be a real justification for using symbol spaces for the
> representation of these symbols (since we would not longer have the
> constraint (**)).
> Following option b) would probably alleviate the concern raised in issue
> 42 [5].
> 
> I myself (still) have a preference for option b), but if this option is
> not acceptable to the working group, then I will not oppose option a).
> 
> 
> Best, Jos
> 
> 
> [1] BLD specification
> [2]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-xml-schema-comments/2007JulSep/0102.html
> [3]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-xml-schema-comments/2007OctDec/0040.html
> [4] Of course, the XML representation of RIF could use two separate
> elements/attributes for the representation of rif:text values.
> [5] http://www.w3.org/2005/rules/wg/track/issues/42
> 
> -- 
>                          debruijn@inf.unibz.it
> 
> Jos de Bruijn,        http://www.debruijn.net/
> ----------------------------------------------
> In heaven all the interesting people are
> missing.
>   - Friedrich Nietzsche
> 
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> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 17:04:41 GMT

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