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Re: DAML+OIL (March 2001) released: a correction

From: Jim Hendler <jhendler@darpa.mil>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 17:31:15 -0400
Message-Id: <p0433011db6ed4bce44d9@[]>
To: Jonas Liljegren <jonas@rit.se>, pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>A common exchange protocol makes a lot of things easier.
>RDF is not the rest of the world. But hopefully, it will be used as a
>gateway to the rest of the world.
>The conversion between DAML and other ontologies with an rdF interface
>would be easier if they could use a common way to express datatypes.
>The semantic web:
>     http://www.w3.org/2000/Talks/0906-xmlweb-tbl/slide9-0.html
>RDF needs to be integrated with the XML datatypes.  Shall I take it
>that DAML+OIL isn't going to help out on this?

Jonas asks a good question - let me try to help out as best I can

DAML+OIL did not have authority to change anything in RDF or to 
otherwise impact the RDF spec except by example.  We decided to take 
on the datatyping issue because it was important to our users.  We 
have published what we decided, made the minutes of our meetings 
available, etc. in an effort to help others figure out whether there 
is a methodology by which our solution can either become the solution 
endorsed by RDF or (preferably) RDF can come to its own cleaner 
solution that we can then live on top of more easily.  Unlike Pat and 
some others, I do think RDF compatibility is a crucial aspect of the 
DAML languages, and to this end I have agreed to work with the W3C to 
help in whatever way I can to coordinate ontology efforts with other 
RDF efforts.  If a working group is formed to attack the remaining 
issues of RDF (which might include the datatypes) I suspect that I 
and others on the US/EU committee would be happy to join and work on 
finding a clean solution.

That said, as long as we maintain syntactic compatibility, it's not 
clear to me that the higher levels of the diagram alluded to above 
can never have their own way of doing things.  If the RDF layer can 
find a good datatype solution, then DAML+OIL users are free to use 
it, and/or to build maps to it (or, in the best case, to have the 
languages coevolve to the same standard).  However, if one needs to 
express shoe sizes in an ontology, one needs some way to do it, and 
currently we couldn't use RDF's mechanisms directly - so we went 
ahead and created a way to use XML datatypes.

So, Jonas, you shouldn't take it that " DAML+OIL isn't going to help 
out on this" but rather should ask the question "Will the RDF 
community join us in finding a clean solution we can all use?" -- and 
(at least some of) the DAML+OIL folks are happy to help out.

Prof. James Hendler		Program Manager
DARPA/ISO			703-696-2238 (phone)
3701 N. Fairfax Dr.		703-696-2201 (Fax)
Arlington, VA 22203		jhendler@darpa.mil
Received on Sunday, 1 April 2001 17:31:09 UTC

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