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Re: "meaningless terms" verbage for Primer

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 08:37:10 -0500
To: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, w3c-rdfcore-wg <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20021209133709.GB1363@tux.w3.org>


+1 on What Dave Said.

I feel like some of us are on different planets here. Vocabulary 
meaning is not exhaustively accounted for by the MT/inferential story. We 
admit that implicitly when we allow that two classes may have the same 
extension yet be considered usefully different entities. 
Attempting to divide the 
RDF world into 'good' properties (those that are mentioned in some rules 
we've written) and 'bad' ones (the rest) is imho a vast oversimplification 
of the situation. 

Dan

* Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk> [2002-12-09 13:22+0000]
> 
> >>>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 08:37:15 EST

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