W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > April 2002

Re: suggested wording for removing weasels from MT

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 14:52:21 -0500
Message-Id: <p0510151eb8eb688169aa@[]>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
>On Mon, 2002-04-22 at 16:58, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>  In practice, this assumption may need be modified somewhat.
>>  OK ??
>>  This would be the only mention of 'unasserted' triples in the
>>  document, and the whole issue of what counts as an unasserted or dark
>>  triple would be relegated to some other domain of consideration,
>>  which might be called the operational deployment of RDF in some
>>  larger context.
>i.e. it's a "hook".

Not sure what this means, but I don't think so.

>My engineering experience says: don't put
>hooks in until you have tested at least two ways to exploit
>the hook and be sure it's of the right size and shape.
>W3C process calls for implementation of whatever features
>are in a spec before granting Proposed Recommendation status.
>We have (or at least: I have) become very aware of
>the trick where, when groups can't come to consensus,
>they put in a hook so that everybody can be happy; but
>then they never test the hook, and it just becomes
>an interoperability nightmare, with various implementors
>ascribing various meaning to it.
>If the hook stays in, I'll be sure to look in
>our request for Proposed Rec status for evidence
>of interoperable implementations.
>I'd really rather just take it out until we're more
>clear about how to use the hook.

Well, I have to say something about what it means to 'assert' an RDF 
graph. The document already makes some vague noises about one graph 
being taken to include a merge of any other graphs that are thought 
to define its vocabulary, so it seemed harmless to add that some 
users might want a graph to assert *less* than is actually in it. I 
don't see this as a "hook", since it doesn't even hint at any way to 
implement or use this, just an acknowledgement that people do 
sometimes do things like this (some of them people on the WG itself, 
in fact) and a warning that the scope of the MT should be adjusted 
accordingly whenever it is clear that this is being done.  The only 
normative aspect of this is that the MT (now with no clauses in it 
about unasserted triples) defines the content of whatever is 
asserted; that is unambiguous and unqualified. It relegates the whole 
'dark triples' issue to an area where the RDF spec is already vague 
in any case (what counts as an 'assertion' of RDF content, in 
general?) thus rendering it relatively harmless; but in any case, 
that is where it belongs, rather than in the MT.


PS. I wonder why you are being so stern about this issue, Dan, since 
being utterly rigid about RDF meaning being *exactly* fitted to RDF 
graphs is about the only position that will guarantee that RDF will 
be unusable as a foundation for the SW. I'm trying hard here to find 
a way to make Tim's layer-cake diagram work, and you seem determined 
to sabotage it.

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Received on Tuesday, 23 April 2002 15:52:29 UTC

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