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RE: The RDF Approach to Indicating Language-In-Use

From: Lynn, James (Software Services) <james.lynn@hp.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 11:17:11 -0500
Message-ID: <8ECD74533C4FF04ABE75939A15F00BE4891859@ataexc01.americas.cpqcorp.net>
To: "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>, <public-sw-meaning@w3.org>

I'm not necesarily advocating this approach, but for the sake of discussion how about addressing this using a processing instruction.

	<? rdf Content-Type="application/rdf+xml" ?>



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sandro Hawke [mailto:sandro@w3.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 10:09 AM
> To: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
> Subject: The RDF Approach to Indicating Language-In-Use
> One issue jumped out at me during the last meeting, illuminating
> perhaps the central difference between Bijan's view and Tim's view.
> It was when Jim Hendler asked how one knew if an RDF document was
> supposed to be understood as an OWL document.  Bijan said to use
> application-specific logic [1].
> Ironically, this mirrors exactly an approach Bijan and I were jokingly
> advocating the night before (in response to bugs arising from
> content-negotiation) that web clients should really just ignore the
> Content-Type header, since it's so often wrong.  [2]
> The issue in both cases is this: how is a message receiver to know
> which language a message is written in?  It may have different
> meanings to the receiver, or be errornous, depending on its language.
> There is a TAG finding on this issue in terms of Content-Types, which
> says: 
>       "It is a serious error for the response body to be inconsistent
>       with the assertions made about it by the MIME headers. Web
>       software SHOULD NOT attempt to recover from such errors by
>       guessing, but SHOULD report the error to the user to allow
>       intelligent corrective action."  [3] 
> It says such behavior can be "dangerous", without quite supporting
> that claim to my satisfaction, although I happen to agree.
> The question here (unless people want to stop and debate that
> finding), is how to achieve in RDF this functionality that mail and
> web systens achieve via Content-Type headers.  In RDF, we can't use
> header fields, unless we can figure out some way to have them survive
> a graph merge, which seems unlikely.  To rephrase: how is some
> software which is trying to act on information it receives as
> "application/rdf+xml", supposed to know whether it's looking at some
> OWL DL, some OWL Full, or some evil Anti-OWL where every URI means
> essentially the opposite of what it means in OWL Full?
> I think Bijan is suggesting that systems need to work this out on a
> case-by-case basis.  That doesn't scale or support ad-hoc
> interoperation like we want; it's just the fallback if we can't come
> up with anything better.  I think he is advocating falling back now
> out of concern that in trying to address this problem we'll end up
> creating possibly bigger ones, such as by mandating "strong
> ontological committment".
> I think Tim is suggesting that RDF should work just like mail and web
> content, except (1) using URIs instead of a central registry, (2)
> using every URI in the content as if it were, in essense, another
> content-type value.
> To review the effect of Content-Type labeling: a hypothetical web
> client which is a combination of user, programmer, and program, on
> encountering an unknown Content-Type value can, in theory, go to the
> media type registry [5] and find pointers to the documents needed to
> implement an appropriate handler for that type.  So any sufficiently
> motivated user/programmer/program can handle any content type, more or
> less.
> The TAG has proposed that URIs can be used instead of a central
> registry [6].  That makes perfect sense to me if we hand-wave enough
> over the persistence issues.   According to this proposal, you could
> just dereference the Content-Type URI to get the necessary
> documentation and probably links to available implementations.
> The second half of Tim's suggestion, if I understand it right, is that
> the language-in-use for an RDF graph be determined by a combination
> (conjunction/intersection, I guess) of the languages defined in all
> the specs the user/programmer/agent finds by dereferencing all the
> URIs in the graph.
> It makes a certain sense.  Some of it can be automated, even, as we
> did with the Dingo example.
> I do feel like something needs to be done beyond leaving it up to
> applications and subnets.  I imagine someone using owl:Class as a
> predicate relating people to an index of how "classy" a dresser they
> are .... and it seems like they are doing something wrong!  Yes, in
> that case, they are violating a W3C CR.  But what if they misuse
> dc:author as a synonym for rdf:type?  Even if you grant that W3C has
> some authority on correct use of RDF, does Dublin Core?  Or does the
> fact they they invented, published, and host that URL (the expansion
> of dc:author) actually count for something?
>       -- sandro
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2003/10/10-sw-meaning-irc#T16-17-05
> [2] http://ilrt.org/discovery/chatlogs/rdfig/2003-10-09.html#T01-35-33
> [3] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2002/0129-mime
> [5] http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/
> [6] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2002/01-uriMediaType-9.html
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2003 11:17:27 UTC

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