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

Re: "meaningless terms" verbage for Primer

From: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 13:22:12 +0000
To: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <16259.1039440132@hoth.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

>>>Patrick Stickler said:
> 
> Here is my proposed verbage regarding terms with undefined
> semantics, for inclusion into the Primer. Frank, feel free
> to wordsmith freely.
> 
> Note that the list was based on there being no defined semantics
> for the term in the MT, even if there might be range, domain,
> type, or other assertions made about the terms. The list (or the MT)
> may need adjusting if it is incorrect...
> 
> rdf:li was not mentioned in the MT, but that may be an omission
> since it's in the syntax doc. It is included in the list
> below.
> 
> --
> The RDF/S vocabulary includes several terms the meaning of which
> was undefined or ambiguous in earlier specifications of RDF and
> which remain undefined in the present RDF MT. 
> 
> Specifically: 
> 
>    rdf:value
>    rdf:Bag
>    rdf:Seq
>    rdf:Alt
>    rdf:li
>    rdf:_n
>    rdf:List
>    rdf:first
>    rdf:rest
>    rdf:nil
>    rdfs:comment
>    rdfs:seeAlso
>    rdfs:isDefinedBy
>    rdfs:label 
> 
> These terms remain in the RDF/S vocabulary for various historical 
> reasons. Their lack of an explicit or clear interpretation has 
> resulted in their being used in incompatable ways by different
> applications. Nevertheless, as they provide utility to certain
> RDF applications, and in the interest of backwards compatability,
> they have not been deprecated or removed. 

That's wrong in several ways.

    rdf:List
    rdf:first
    rdf:rest
    rdf:nil

These terms are not historical - they are new to this revision of RDF.

    rdf:li

Never a property; a piece of rdf/xml syntax scaffolding.

    rdf:_n
    rdf:value
    rdf:Bag
    rdf:Seq
    rdf:Alt
    rdfs:comment
    rdfs:seeAlso
    rdfs:isDefinedBy
    rdfs:label 

None of these are deprecated and should not be described in any way
as historical.  They remain used, useful and staying that way.


> Note that some of these terms do have certain constraints defined
> in the MT for their use, such as their domain, range or type, but
> their actual meaning is not specified.
> 
> Users should take care when employing these terms, as there is no 
> guaruntee that any RDF applications will interpret them as intended. 
> It should also be noted that no valid inferences may be drawn from 
> statements using these terms, insofar as the model theory is concerned.
> Any interpretation or inference based on these terms is entirely
> application specific.

"no valid inferences"!  Rubbish.  Don't say such things.  Triples
with these terms are valid.

> This document contains examples which reflect how some of
> these terms have been previously used; however such usage is
> merely suggestive and in no way constitutes a normative definition
> of their meaning or purpose.

This is saying again that the primer is informational, but rather
negatively.  The primer is informational and useful; the formal
meanings of the terms are in other docs, which are pointed to.

Dave
Received on Monday, 9 December 2002 08:23:56 EST

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