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Re: Self-descriptive assertions

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 11:37:42 -0500
Message-Id: <67C46816-7CE8-11D8-AEC8-0003939E0B44@isr.umd.edu>
Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>

On Mar 23, 2004, at 11:23 AM, Mark Baker wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 23, 2004 at 12:20:59AM -0500, Bijan Parsia wrote:
>> RDF, as currently specified, says nothing about when a graph is
>> asserted
> Right.  I believe that's the problem.
>> (by whom).
> ??  I'm only interested, right now, in knowing whether the *publisher*
> of that information asserts it.

And the right answer should be, IMHO, "It depends". So I'm against a 
blanket mandate, especially in the media type.

Who counts as the publisher? The owner of the server?

>> There was some text in Concepts and Abstract Syntax
>> that attempted to say something (very weak) about that. It was struck
>> (and for, IMHO, good reason). Sneaking in something about it in the
>> media type thing seems very bad to me.
> Well, there used to be something in the media type draft about it too,
> but it was also removed.

GO ME! :)

>> (And will this affect, oh, DAWG? I.e., if I want to use an
>> application/rdf+xml as a query "by example", I won't be able to 
>> because
>> it's asserted? I.e., my query wants to be *is* this bit of RDF/XML
>> asserted by you.)
> I can't make sense of that, but it looks interesting 8-)  Can you
> elaborate please?

A question generally isn't an assertion. If my question is basically an 
RDF/XML document (e.g., "is this graph true") then, on your scenario, 
if I am the publisher of my query, then it can't have normal query 

>>>> Er... you somehow want to get a widespread understanding that
>>>> some RDF is asserted, but you want to short-circuit the process
>>>> of getting widespread agreement. I don't see how to do that.
>>> I only want to short-cut the mechanism, not the process, by declaring
>>> that all application/rdf+xml-described documents are asserting their
>>> graphs.  That leaves the door open for other media types to be used 
>>> to
>>> do things differently in the future.
>> Oh c'mon :) Or, let me rephrase: Your response seems extremely
>> non-responsive to Dan's point.
> Not at all; you've just got to read into it a bit deeper. 8-)

Pfft. Then read into mine deeper.

> I understand that the WG had decided to punt this issue to the task
> force, and that's fine.

I didn't understand that. The WG decided to punt, yes. To whom arose 
later :)

> AFAICT though, the task force hasn't rendered
> it's decision.  So, by coming here I don't consider myself 
> short-cutting
> the process, because this seems to *be* the process.

Ah, this group isn't quite what was envisioned by many after the Tech 
plenary session.

In any case, the intent was to study and suggest, not to mandate.

I understand now. Ok, it was responsive. What you didn't realize is 
that this group has been moribund for a while. Perhaps this will revive 

> While I'm focused on presenting what I believe to be a decent solution
> to this problem, I'm fully aware that I have to get buy-in from the
> task force.

No need for buy-in from the "task force" because the task force never 
had any even-inside-W3C authority. However, it's prolly the case that 
if you get me agreeing (being a main naysayer) you'll get some traction 
*somewhere* :)

>   Again, no short-cutting.

Yes, sorry.

>> Plus, this totally kills aggregation and lots of other useful uses of
>> application/rdf+xml documents.
> That seems to be begging the question.

Fortunately things aren't as they seem.

> I respectfully suggest that
> your concern would be best directed at "other useful uses of RDF/XML
> documents", which I agree with.  But I don't see how my suggestion
> interferes with that in general, nor specifically for aggregation.

So, there's the duel problem: How someone indicates that *they've* 
asserted such and such rdf. And how someone indicates that they've 
*not* asserted such and such RDF. Inside RDF, the quoting mechanisms 
are, in a world, lame. (Reification, but reification is lame. Or 
literals, but that  doesn't seem to be to most people's taste.)

But let me back up: I don't see how media type does the job you want. 
How does media type help acertain who's the publisher? Do we really 
want to force publishers to assert all the RDF they publish? (I think, 
not. This was discussed extensively, I believe, in my last call 

Bijan Parsia.
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2004 11:37:44 UTC

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