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Re: [Fwd: RDFCore 2nd last call announcement]

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 10:34:28 -0400
Message-ID: <3F969574.10504@acm.org>
To: "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Cc: 'Brian McBride' <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Hammond, Tony (ELSLON) wrote:

> Hi Brian:
> 
> 
>>I'd suggest that RDF schemas are useful, but not mandatory, so the lack 
>>of one for PRISM does not render it unsuitable for reference in the
>>
> primer.
> 
> I take your point - I guess I was just thinking about best practice and the
> signals being sent out (especially by flagging it as an example application
> in the Primer). I might have been confusing RDF with the Semantic Web. ;) My
> concern was really that by making use of a term set without a schema we then
> appear to have lost machine processability and hence automation.
> 


I'd like to add a few comments on this subject (and this list seems a 
reasonable place to do that).  First of all, Section 6 of the Primer is 
simply intended to describe some actual RDF apps, as opposed to 
hypothetical ones.  There's nothing at all said about trying to 
illustrate "best practice", and it is not trying to "send any signals" 
one way or the other. It might well be a good idea to get some work 
started on formulating some principles of good RDF/RDFS design, but I'd 
be hesitant to have the Primer (or any other official W3C spec) appear 
to be making value judgements (either way) on anyone's use of RDF at 
this stage of its development and use.  If people generally are being 
misled on this subject, and feel that there should be some explicit 
disclaimers about "best practice" and so on at the beginning of Section 
6, I can always add them (but explicitly ruling out intentions that are 
not explicitly there can, I'm finding, be a never-ending job!).  At any 
rate, in my experience the first question people generally ask is 
whether RDF is actually being *used*;  questions about best practices 
come an awful long way after that.  Needless to say, these are not the 
people that generally frequent www-rdf-interest!

 

Second, while I'm certainly in favor of having machine-processable 
schemas describing the terms used in RDF, these need not necessarily be 
RDFS schemas.  I can imagine lots of users using OWL rather than RDFS 
for these purposes (and at that there will be lots of "schema-related" 
information that still won't be describable, until a general rule 
mechanism is available).

Finally, there was a question about "whether the Primer actually cares 
if the applications it discusses are generally useful".  I'm not 
entirely sure how to interpret this comment.  Part of the process for 
deciding what went in there was based simply on who was willing to 
contribute.  More generally, it was hoped that the applications (which 
are often rather domain-specific) that were described would suggest 
ideas to people about how they might use RDF in other domains.  In that 
sense the applications would be "generally useful", at least in 
achieving the goals of the Primer.  Certainly the CIM/XML RDF vocabulary 
for describing power system components doesn't seem generally useful for 
describing the sorts of artifacts PRISM needs to talk about (but I'm not 
the best judge of that!),  but it apparently is generally useful for 
describing power system components.

--Frank
Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 10:07:45 GMT

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