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Re: Where are the semantics in the semantic Web?

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 08:28:27 -1000
Message-ID: <438757CB.3050604@ibiblio.org>
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Cc: jeff@inf.ed.ac.uk, public-sws-ig@w3.org

There's a difference between formal semantics as used in denotational
semantics and the operational semantics ala XQuery/XPath. XQuery/XPath
has formal semantics for type-checking using XML Schema types. That's
*what it does*, and it does well. It in no way provides a uniform formal
semantics for any given XML document. After all, I can code up FOL or
anything else in XML and the operational semantics of XQuery tell me
*nothing* about its operations qua FOL. However, RDF does provide a
uniform formal semantics (although not too interesting!) for any given
RDF statement. Now, one can code FOL in RDF, and RDF will tell you
things about those FOL statements, but it will be using the RDF model.
What of course we want is to code FOL and get results via the FOL model,
but at least with
RDF we have something rather than nothing.

Received on Friday, 25 November 2005 18:28:46 UTC

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