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Re: pruning the semantics document (and "meaningless terms")

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 09:21:31 -0500
Message-ID: <3DF89B6B.3070900@mitre.org>
To: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
CC: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

Patrick Stickler wrote:

> [Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com]
>>I agree 100% about the duplication, and what you suggested made perfect 
>>sense to me, except that if things said in the MT doc are "meaningful", 
>>and the same things said in the Primer are "meaningless", then let's by 
>>all means say them in the MT doc, where we presumably "mean" them more 
>>(or something).  Sheesh.
> I never said the text in the Primer was meaningless. Only that
> it was not normative, and thus, if the only place certain intended
> meaning of terms was stated was in the Primer, such meaning
> could be ignored and hence the terms had not normative meaning.
> I think the Primer itself is top notch. Sorry if you thought I
> was making any criticisms of the Primer itself.


No apology necessary, and I didn't take what you said as a criticism of 
the Primer itself.  I was just commenting on the fact that the terms 
were being described as "meaningless", and that hence all the discussion 
should be removed from the Primer, when much of that same discussion (or 
descriptions on which such discussion might reasonably be based) appears 
in normative documents.  I'm not commenting on whether that discussion 
(or other statements of "intent") appear in normative or non-normative 
sections of those documents.  We might reasonably have further 
discussion about those distinctions, and/or about what normative things 
we intend to say about the vocabulary items in question.

My basic comment, though, is that the Primer has in good faith tried to 
convey my understanding of what the WG intends those items to mean.  It 
necessarily elaborates on those things more than some of the other 
documents partly in order to do its job, and partly due to the 
deliberate sparseness of description in other documents.  I've commented 
on that sparseness in the past, and the consensus seemed to have been 
that that's OK, because the elaboration will go in the Primer.  However 
if, due to that sparseness in other documents, we're then going to argue 
that more complete discussion in the Primer should be eliminated, this 
seems to me to be an unfortunate piece of circular argument, and I'm 
going to have to insist that more complete discussion get included (or 
remain) in the other documents.



Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Thursday, 12 December 2002 09:04:10 UTC

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