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Re: Social meaning discussion 6th March

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 12:03:50 -0500
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isis.unc.edu>, Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>, RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20030228170350.GF24319@tux.w3.org>

* Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> [2003-02-28 11:47-0500]
> I am concerned that you have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.
> And still left some bathwater. ;-)
> Our views do seem rather different
> What is required, and easy, is to say what an RDF document means.
> What is not required and a bad idea is to explain how to use it.
> 1. The meaning of an RDF document is that of the statements.
> 2. The meaning of the statement is defined by the definition
> of the predicate, as applying to the subject and object identified by the
>  definition of the subject and object terms.

This for me is the crux: do we mean the machine oriented 'definition'
in RDFS or OWL or N3, or some more rounded/scruffy/social notion of 

Use case: I want to add 'foaf:uncle' to my FOAF vocabulary at 
http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/ and intend to express as much of the conventional
meaning of 'uncle' as I can with the technology available, ie. RDFS + 
OWL + N3 + HTML/prose. In the case of 'uncle', most of the meaning is invisible
to RDF/S and OWL. But most of it could be handled by N3 rules, assuming 
we had foaf:parent, foaf:sibling, gender vocab etc.

So when you say 'the definition of the predicate', that to me is where 
our problem lies. (I'm happy btw having predicates drive the meaning 
of statements, though I think this is something we stipulate rather than 
show). Which 'definition' of the predicate sets the meaning?


> That then hands off to the relevant specs the right and the duty to
> define their bit.
> Tim
> sans chapeau.
Received on Friday, 28 February 2003 12:06:05 UTC

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