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Re: Comment to ONC recommending RDF to help "standardize the standards"

From: Jim McCusker <mccusker@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 01 May 2015 23:56:12 +0000
Message-ID: <CAAtgn=S266reZrvLZ1xciugHaDGV+y9EwEWz3C0w=pyuLckcJg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Grahame Grieve <grahame@healthintersections.com.au>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: "its@lists.hl7.org" <its@lists.hl7.org>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 6:08 PM Grahame Grieve <
grahame@healthintersections.com.au> wrote:

> Suggestion 2: Recommend RDF as the best available universal information
>> representation
>>
>
> This completely misses the point; for the kind of disagreement that your
> comments seek to address, RDF is just a format that has few semantics (and
> the ones it has work as much against the goals as for them). I'm not
> against getting common RDF representations for standards (obviously), but
> it's just moving the deck chairs around: it won't make any difference at
> any level that matters.
>

Actually, RDF is the only widely used general purpose representation that
provides formal semantic interpretation based on identifiers with
unambiguous denotation. We can disagree about the definition of <
http://schema.org/Person>, but we can't argue about it's denotation. XML,
JSON, relational databases, CSV, Excel, none of them have this level of
interpretation. This can provide challenges when mapping from these kinds
of data, but when speaking in RDF, we always know for sure that, if we are
using the same URI, we are talking about the same thing, and the use of
that URI in statements has a clear intent.

Maybe some day there will be another representation that has such a useful
formal model, but today RDF is the only player in that space. And knowing
for sure when we are talking about the same things, I think, is a
prerequisite for effective information exchange.

Jim
Received on Friday, 1 May 2015 23:56:41 UTC

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