W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > July 2010

Re: Show me the money - (was Subjects as Literals)

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 22:44:48 -0500
Cc: Yves Raimond <yves.raimond@gmail.com>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, nathan@webr3.org, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A08FB053-0BD6-4591-9208-B115D6DA0493@ihmc.us>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
Jeremy, your argument is perfectly sound from your company's POV, but  
not from a broader perspective. Of course, any change will incur costs  
by those who have based their assumptions upon no change happening.  
Your company took a risk, apparently. IMO it was a bad risk, as you  
could have implemented a better inference engine if you had allowed  
literal subjects internally in the first place, but whatever. But that  
is not an argument for there to be no further change for the rest of  
the world and for all future time. Who knows what financial  
opportunities might become possible when this change is made,  
opportunities which have not even been contemplated until now?

It is also important to distinguish changes which actually harm your  
code, and changes which simply make it less complete. Allowing literal  
subjects will not invalidate your engines in any way: it will simply  
mean that there will be some RDF out there which they may be unable to  
process, or which might require them to do some preprocessing (such as  
replacing
<literal> :p :o .
with
_:x :p :o .
_:x :same <literal> .
with a special company-specific :same property marker. For example.)  
But none of this *invalidates* your huge pile of expensive investment  
in code base; it merely makes it just a wee bit obsolete. But by the  
time this process is over, it will be obsolete anyway, I am sure,  
simply by virtue of being about four or five years older.

Best wishes

Pat


On Jul 1, 2010, at 10:38 AM, Jeremy Carroll wrote:

>
> I am still not hearing any argument to justify the costs of literals  
> as subjects
>
> I have loads and loads of code, both open source and commercial that  
> assumes throughout that a node in a subject position is not a  
> literal, and a node in a predicate position is a URI node.
>
> Of course, the "correct" thing to do is to allow all three node  
> types in all three positions. (Well four if we take the graph name  
> as well!)
>
> But if we make a change,  all of my code base will need to be  
> checked for this issue.
> This costs my company maybe $100K (very roughly)
> No one has even showed me $1K of advantage for this change.
>
> It is a no brainer not to do the fix even if it is technically correct
>
> Jeremy
>
>
>

------------------------------------------------------------
IHMC                                     (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973
40 South Alcaniz St.           (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                            (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                              (850)291 0667   mobile
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
Received on Friday, 2 July 2010 03:46:52 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 March 2016 07:42:20 UTC