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Re: rdf as a base for other languages

From: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 18:29:21 +0100
Message-ID: <3B1BC571.3966D933@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Gentlemen,

As this conversation is with non WG members, please could you keep it to one
of the public lists, e.g. rdf-logic.

Brian

Jonathan Borden wrote:
> 
> Jos,
> 
> I am not sure if this response will make it into the WG list but please
> forward it along if not.
> 
> >
> >
> >
> > (this is a reply to Jonathan's concerns about RDFCore and I
> > thought that it would be good to cc the WG to get more feedback)
> >
> > Jonathan,
> >
> > > I think the question is whether RDF is good enough basically as
> > is, modulo a
> > > few syntactic touch ups and clarifications, or needs to be
> > revised perhaps
> > > in a substantial fashion.
> >
> > 'perhaps' is the right word here :-)
> 
> I hope you realize that I am somewhat impartial to these arguments. Indeed I
> got involved in this long rdf-logic discussion precisely when I _defended_
> RDF as less than totally worthless ... the initial position taken by a
> surprisingly large segment of the rdf-logic group, and composed of DAML PIs
> etc.
> 
> You must realize that these individuals have considerable experience in
> matters of knowledge representation etc. and I was genuinely quite surprised
> to learn of their collective disatisfaction.
> 
> Instead of saying that "RDF is worthless", something I find less than
> constructure (though indeed may have been successful as a call to wakeup),
> we have been able to elucidate some particular problems with particular
> areas in RDF ...<strong-emphasis> and it turns out that these areas are
> precisely the areas that the WG has identified as problems
> </strong-emphasis>
> 
> >
> > > Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be arguing _for_ keeping RDF
> > > basically asis, yet are a proponent of N3.
> >
> > True and let me try to explain why.
> 
> Look, I am not sure why people are being so stubborn on these issues ... you
> admit there are problems, but rather than fix the problems, insist on a
> whitewash over these issues. The DAML folk or at least many of them,
> consider these problems serious. What is the resistence to addressing these
> concerns using the _best_ method rather than a less than adequate method?
> 
> And on record: I am entirely _convinced_ that this can be done with little
> damage to current RDF systems and software ... I will be willing to produce
> code backing these claims if these proposals are considered seriously.
> 
> [explanation snipped]
> >
> > > I think N3 is terrific,
> >
> > I more than agree with that and the {} is more shorthand
> > than anything else to "identify things by their contents".
> 
> yes but the simple _fact_ is that N3's CWM represents statements by a quad
> not a triple. Where is "context" in the RDF 1.0 M&S? That is a major point,
> the concept of "context" is important enough to be represented in the
> statement tuple. To try to do so using triples requires reification and
> containers and a single statement becomes 6 statements. What a mess.
> 
> Reification in its current form has to go. Regardless of whether it works or
> not. The implementation has not had traction. It is a hotspot. Cut it out
> and let RDF heal (speaking as a surgeon :-).
> 
> >
> > > but also think that it changes RDF in a
> > > _substantial_ fashion. That's ok, but why don't we just admit
> > that change is
> > > in order, and get on with the task of creating the best RDF
> > that can be had.
> > >
> > > If you are using N3 as an example of what can be done with RDF that is
> > > confusing, rather N3 should be used as an example of how RDF
> > should change.
> >
> > I refer to my above *could*
> > and in RDF/xml it *could* be done with rdf:parsetype="log:quote"
> > and that is a perfectly evolvable approach.
> >
> 
> I think that extending the RDF 'model' is also perfectly evolvable. Indeed I
> have started to edit RDFFilter to emit the tuple syntax I have proposed.
> Turns out that most of the editing is cutting out code needed to handle
> containers and reification etc.
> 
> Better yet: Let's see an implementation of CWM and N3 using XML syntax and
> some current RDF 1.0 compliant software so that we can see how different
> abstract syntaxes perform.
> 
> Note: I still am a proponent of the _conceptual_ triple
> <predicate,subject,object> its just that I see the need to label these
> triples with <context> at least and perhaps an couple of other bits.
> 
> -Jonathan
Received on Sunday, 3 June 2001 13:30:30 EDT

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