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Re: [WN, SPARQL, ALL] Describe

From: Jacco van Ossenbruggen <Jacco.van.Ossenbruggen@cwi.nl>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:43:54 +0100
Message-ID: <43A0219A.6080704@cwi.nl>
To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org

McBride, Brian wrote:

>So a position for discussion:
>1. The DESCRIBE functionality would be useful for Wordnet.
>2. It would be useful stand alone, not as part of SPARQL.
>3. It would also be useful as part of SPARQL, but less so.  An example
>might be a query that queried multiple Wordnets for different languages
>for "chat" and returned dscriptions of each of the word senses.
I had missed this mail from Brian, and the last time I had read the 
SPARQL draft it did not mention DESCRIBE, so I could not answer Guus's 
question on this during the previous teleconf.  Having catched up, I 
agree with Brian's point at 1) and 2) above.  My position concerning 3) 
would be stronger than his:  I think any useful implementation of 
DESCRIBE is so dependent on the vocabulary being queried, that it should 
NOT be part of the core of a general query language such as SPARQL (all 
the other functionality of SPARQL can be implemented independent of the 
data being queried, this would be the only exception) . 

Having said this, we might want to encourage the DAWG to continue work 
on DESCRIBE, as it would be useful for Wordnet, SKOS and every other 
large ontology of which one might want a concise description of a single 
resource.  I think they will still have an interoperability issue.  I do 
not buy the argument that the type of functionality offered by DESCRIBE 
doesn't need to be interoperable.  If a machine needs to be able to do 
anything useful with the result, there will need to be a minimum set of 
assumptions the machine can make about the result.  Also, one might 
expect that different Wordnet servers at least return the same _type_ of 
information for the same query. So one might want to have an RDF 
vocabulary in which you can specify the result of DESCRIBE for a given 
type of resource.

Received on Wednesday, 14 December 2005 13:44:02 UTC

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