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Re: problems with concise bounded descriptions

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 06:10:18 -0400
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
Cc: eric@w3.org, pfps@research.bell-labs.com, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20041001101018.GE22793@homer.w3.org>

* Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com> [2004-10-01 12:55+0300]
> As for utility/cost/etc., the CBD submission is simply Nokia sharing
> with others what we have found to work well, be very useful, and
> likely to benefit others as well.
> 
> We do not assert that it is perfect, either for any particular
> application, or for even for a majority of applications. 

I'm happy to see the idea written up, and I think it'll find a niche in
certain applications.

Re 'perfect', http://www.w3.org/Submission/2004/SUBM-CBD-20040930/
does say (in the abstact), 

	This document defines a concise bounded description of a resource in
	terms of an RDF graph, as an optimal unit of specific knowledge about
	that resource to be utilized by, and/or interchanged between, semantic
	web agents.

...where 'optimal' suggests a certain comfort with the design, on my
reading of http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=optimal

The point about foaf:maker/foaf:made (and depicts/depiction) was just
that there is an asymmetry in the design of the RDF syntax, since it
projects directedness of RDF arcs on to nestedness of XML elements. This should
be of no consequence to those working with the RDF model, in theory.

However in practice, we find that designers of RDF vocabs feel the
likely RDF/XML encoding of instance data using their properties is a
(perhaps minor) design constraint on their property naming choices. CBD
has a similar asymmetry, treating a graph built from 'depicts'
differently from another couched in terms of 'depiction', despite their
being true description of the world under pretty much(*) the same
circumstances. My concern then, was just that CBD would introduce yet
another factor into RDFS vocab design, actually a very similar bias to
that already associated with the RDF/XML syntax: vocab designers would
have to think more carefully about the direction in which they name
their RDF properties, even though the pure RDF graph view of this
suggests they shouldn't have to.

Dan


(*) I'm handwaving a little here to avoid looking silly in front 
of model theorists
Received on Friday, 1 October 2004 10:10:18 GMT

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