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Re: Input sought on datatyping tradeoff

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 19:24:08 -0400
To: bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020711192408N.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>

Unfortunately, I think that this request is incorrectly formulated.  I
think this for several reasons.

1/ The request does not mention some of the unusual aspects of XML
Schema datatypes, such as union datatypes and the ability to override
the normal typing of literals in union datatypes.  The presence of
these unusual features in XML Schema datatypes makes them much harder
to handle.

2/ The request begs question A by using semantically-loaded terms,
like ``ageInYears''.  This is only partly alleviated by stating that
the answer must be the same for question A, A2, and A3.  It would be
much better to use a property, like rdf:object, that does not have a
natural range type that is associated with it.  If rdf:object is not
used, then some other property without such as strong natural range
type should be used instead, perhaps even one like
``ageInYears-or-title''.

3/ The request contains a number of unsupported assertions, including
``[t]he answer must be the same for all three of these A tests'' and
``[i]t is not possible to have the ansewrs to Tests A and Test D both
be yes.''  I think that these assertions need justification.

4/ The request does not describe the implications of answers, except
that as yes to Question A must also be a yes to Questions A2 and A3.
There are many implications of the answers to these questions, and
responses by responders who are not aware of the implications may
change if the responders are made aware of the implications of their
responses.

5/ The request does not indicate why other attractive solutions to
datatypes are not being considered.  One such solution would be to
require that all literals be types, perhaps by using xsi:type
constructs.

I request that the request be reformulated to address my concerns and
then resent to the mailing lists.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Thursday, 11 July 2002 19:25:34 GMT

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