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RDF namespace documents comment

From: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2003 11:51:23 +0100
To: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <5978.1049280683@hoth.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

This is a message pulling together quotes from several long threads
originally from a comment by PFPS to the www-rdf-comment list on
pre-LC WDs.  The comments are on the documents at the RDF and RDF
namespace-names, not working drafts and hence not necessarily a last
call issue.

Brian: please add this to the next telcon agenda.

The detail and references

The original question (before the LC period, so not a LC comment) was
on the status of the documents at the RDF & RDFS namespace-names.
(the latter is normative, in RDFS) and claims on their "validity".

Sadly the thread breaks several times but I'll cite the documents as I go.

 [[... rdfs:comment properties, which are not valid in the RDF or
   RDFS model theories.  

   ... I would think that it would be better to change the
  rdfs:comments to XML comments.

  ...  perhaps normative is not the right concept here.  However,
  some sort of statement concerning their status is needed, I think,
  particularly as the RDFS document has been presented in the past as
  somehow containing the essence of RDFS.
  I think that it would be a good idea to 
  1/ Change these two document so that they are valid in the RDFS model
    theory, which would mean making quite a few changes.
  2/ State that they are RDFS documents that provide part (but not all) of
    the meaning of the RDF and RDFS vocabulary in RDFS.

  ]] -- PFPS, January 3 (before last call)

  [[Is there any normative force to these files?  If so, what is this
   For example, these files might be normative as to which URI
   references are in the RDF / RDFS vocabulary.  They might be
   normative as to the semantics of RDF or RDFS.  The OWL file might
   be a normative part of RDF vocabulary extensions, i.e., any
   vocabulary extension might need a file that provides (all) the RDFS
   meaning of vocabulary elements in the vocabulary extension.
  ]] -- PFPS, March 18 (after last call)

I suggested some potential actions to address his concerns

  1. Add a new normative section to one working draft
     I suggest rdf/xml wd (or possibly vocab) that gives a corrected
     content of http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns
     with the terms correct for the updated RDF vocabulary terms:
       first, rest, nil, XMLLiteral
     probably as a new normative appendix.

  2. Ensure the two documents at the URIs as given in the drafts
     are rdf-valid, rdfs-valid from the RDF Semantics WD point of view.
       - need specific items to track here that have been raised (rdfs:comment)

  3. Update the documents at the two URIs
     - this might be a coordination action require some further W3C
       process, I'm not sure.

  4. Ask WebOnt what, if any changes, owl:import requires on these documents.
 ]]  me, March 18
  -- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-comments/2003JanMar/0528.html

On normativeness, PFPS replied

[[The answers include:

1/ The documents are valid in that they are true in all RDF (RDFS, D-)
2/ The documents are complete in that they include all the information
   about the RDF (RDFS, D-) vocabulary that can be represented in RDF
   (RDFS, D-, multiplicatively).  In normal circumstances, this answer
   would generally also include validity, but I suppose that this could be
   relaxed, particularly for rdfs:comment, etc.
3/ They are documents that serve only to introduce all of the RDF (RDFS,
   D-) vocabulary, but no validity or completeness.
4/ The documents only provide some hint as to some aspects of some part of

As far as I can tell 4/ is the current answer.

]], PFPS March 19

On validity detail: [[
  There is invalid information in these documents related to rdfs:comment,
  rdfs:label, rdfs:isDefinedBy, and rdfs:seeAlso.  The RDF file also contains
  rdfs:domain and rdfs:range information that is not valid in RDF.
  (It is valid in RDFS, but not in RDF.)
]], ibid

On OWL using these: [[
  In OWL, it is possible to make the contents of these files be imported into
  an OWL ontology.  If these files have problems (invalid, incomplete, etc.)
  then these problems can easy be demonstrated in test cases that don't
  directly point to the files themselves.  
]], ibid

[[If you trying to say that the triples do not describe the newer
 vocabulary terms that the RDF Core WG added for Collections (List,
 first, rest, nil) and datatypes (XMLLiteral) and are asking for
 this to be corrected, this could be part of the action for the
 same issue above.]] 
 -- me,  March 20

On my proposal [[This would be one way to proceed.]], PFPS, March 19

So neither yes nor no agreeing that this would work for him.

[[ This file does not include any of the container membership
    properties, for example.]]
-- PFPS, March 19

[[You seriously want us to produce a graph describing an infinite
  number of rdf properties?  This must be some kind of subtle joke :)
]] -- me, March 20

[[No joke.  I'm just pointing out (somewhat indirectly) that one of
 the things that one might like to do with these documents is not
-- PFPS, March 20

Which I disagreed with.  The possible things are useful, the
impossible ones aren't ;)

PFPS finally proposed a large disclaimer to add to a WD near these
documents, in normative sections and in XML comments.  They mostly
give you the impression of how usless the files are, which I disagree
with. "The information given here neither complete nor valid. " etc.
See http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-comments/2003JanMar/0534.html


The choices

We could decide to do nothing, it is not an RDF Core WD. 

However, I feel that it would be useful to update the RDF namespace
document since it contains useful triples that people are already
using.  This means asking the CG I guess?  I proposed adding it to
one WD, I suggest syntax. (from my items listed above in

The other concerns he has are on rdf & rdfs-validity.  I don't see
this as the only reason to measure how useful these documents are,
but if there are significant problems, we should fix.

On OWL, I don't know what owl:import requires, if there is a problem
with OWL using these, it hasn't been raised so far by WebONT.  I
proposed above to ask.

So I guess I am suggesting that we draft new versions and check these
concerns and hoping that we get permission to update them with new
versions.  Which we should do very carefully, these may break
existing applications.  In particular we don't want to change the rdf
& rdfs namespaces (we already decided this).  So putting them in the
next version of one of our documents would be a way to do that.

In which case it does become a LC issue of some sort, not really sure
how to deal with that from a process point of view.

Received on Wednesday, 2 April 2003 05:52:10 UTC

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