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[new issue] Assertion and provenance

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:29:36 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Bob MacGregor <macgregor@ISI.EDU>
Cc: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, fmanola@mitre.org, www-rdf-comments@w3.org

At 05:36 PM 2/27/03 -0800, Bob MacGregor wrote:
>At 10:35 PM 2/27/2003 +0000, Brian McBride wrote:
>>At 13:31 27/02/2003 -0800, Bob MacGregor wrote:
>>>Currently, only you and Pat Hayes have responded (back to me) to the
>>>comments that I posted earlier to RDF-comments,
>>Bob, I hope you don't think that is a bad thing.  The editors of each 
>>document are handling the comments on their documents.  Please don't 
>>expect the entire WG to join you in debate.
>Having everyone chime in would not be a good thing.  I was not suggesting 
>that I
>should have had more responses, but I was hoping that to have gotten
>a response about each issue that I raised.  Below, I mention the two 
>unanwered issues


I apologize.  I did not previously notice that your message included a 
comment on the Concepts document, to which I shall try to respond...

>>>  and those responses did not
>>>include consideration of some of the issues I raised.
>>That is a matter of concern to me.  It is our intent to ensure that each 
>>issue is properly addressed.  Can I assume that any issues that you feel 
>>have not been addressed are captured in this message, or are there others 
>>you can refer me to?
>One issue was the discussion surrounding the example
>  "I don't believe that George is a clown" in the Concepts
>and Abstract Syntax document,  the larger issue being
>whether or not propositional attitudes are or should be expressible.
>The (non-RDF) nested syntax in the Primer relates to the same issue
>(but Frank has already replied to me about the Primer).

Reference, Concepts section 4.1:

Ouch!  That text was not intended to delve into issues of propositional 
attitudes, but was merely intended to be an informal example of using a 
statement without asserting it.

RDF does not, of itself, provide mechanisms for expressing propositional 
attitudes.  I'm not sure that it can within it's current semantic framework.

As for the issue of indicating asserted and non-asserted forms, the short 
answer is that RDF does not define such a mechanism.  I think this section 
needs to be examined in light of your comments.  (I think the reification 
constructs can be used by an application for such purposes, but such use is 
not defined by RDF.)

I think your concerns can be expressed thus:

1. The Concepts document is not clear that RDF does not define a mechanism 
for distinguishing asserted and non-asserted forms.

2. The informal example in section 4.1 can be read as suggesting RDF 
defined means to express propositional attitudes.  We should be clear that 
propositional attitudes are not supported.

You also raise an issue of provenance, but I don't think that impacts the 
Concepts document.

(You also note RDF's lack of a mechanism to refer to a graph;  by my 
recollection, this idea, or something very like it, was discussed but 
considered out of scope for the current WG effort, and has been noted as an 
issue for possible future consideration.  I don't think there's anything 
else we should say in our documents.)

If this adequately captures your concerns, I'll ask Brian to raise an issue 
for this, so the WG can consider your comments and get back to you.


>The second issue is the question of unasserted forms/statements.
>I am unable to find an RDF example of how to represent
>a statement of belief (a propositional attitude).  Neither can
>I find an example showing exactly what is meant by an
>unasserted RDF statement. (If there are examples, they are not
>identified as such.  Or I somehow missed them).
>These are what I referred to as unanwered issues.  I'm hoping that
>someone will tell me what the "official" position is.
>My last e-mail summarized my position
>as to these two issues, so I won't go any deeper here.

Graham Klyne
Received on Friday, 28 February 2003 08:33:25 UTC

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