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Re: RDFCore last call WD's: Two comments on the RDF documents

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 15:04:13 -0500
Message-ID: <3E4BFA3D.C20FC7F1@mitre.org>
To: Bob MacGregor <macgregor@isi.edu>
CC: www-rdf-comments@w3.org, stefan Decker <stefan@isi.edu>, macgreg@isi.edu


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this.  

Bob MacGregor wrote:
> Frank,
> I will try to clarify, but this seems to be an area where its really hard to
> get agreement on nomenclature.  The best I can do is to argue that there
> are (at least) two different notions wrt statements/reified statements,
> that RDF
> only captures one of them, and that the RDF documents should be careful
> that they don't give the impression that RDF has the ability to express both
> kinds of notions.

I agree that there are several notions, and certainly want to be clear
which one RDF supports (I want *not* to introduce any notions that RDF
doesn't support just to make that clear though).

> So, how am I recommending that you fix things?  Unfortunately, I'm mostly
> stating what you should NOT do.  I'm claiming that
> using nested syntax will convey the wrong impression to many readers (e.g.,
> those that model belief they way I did above), so something like an
> EXPLICIT quotation needs to be included.  To me, the use of double brackets
> didn't adequately convey the notion of quotation.

I will try using a diagram, rather than what appears to be nested
syntax, since we don't support nested syntax (and I didn't intend for
what the Primer uses to be interpreted as nested syntax). However, we
don't really support explicit quotation either, so we can't really
substitute that.  Whatever is said in the Primer on reification will
have to be consistent with what is said in the Semantics document, which
means this is related to your message
"Statings -- Much ado about nothing".  

> I consider introducing "what we would *like* to be able to do" very
> dangerous.  It
> gives the impression that RDF might be used to represent propositional
> attitudes,
> when in fact it can't.  I would prefer that the WG be as up front as
> possible about
> stating the limitations it has placed on RDF.  

I don't think the Primer actually conveys this impression, and I think
it tries to be up front about the limitations of RDF reification (it
certainly spends a lot of space talking about them at any rate). 
However, I could see adding a caveat at the beginning along the lines of
"you might think you're going to be able to do foo, but watch carefully,
because you can't".  Does this make sense?


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-8752
Received on Thursday, 13 February 2003 15:04:46 UTC

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