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Re: semantics status of RDF(S)

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 12:50:21 -0400
To: dlm@ksl.stanford.edu
Cc: fikes@ksl.stanford.edu, www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010402125021W.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
It is nice, and somewhat encouraging, that (some) RDF(S) authors are
interested in a formal specification for RDF(S).  However, even with the
encouragement of the new RDF Core Working Group to ``make use of both
formal techniques and implementation-led test cases'', I have not seen any
indication that one result from the RDF Core Working Group will be a firm
formal semantics for RDF and RDFS.  Until that time, I think that it is
entirely appropriate to point out that RDF and RDF(S) do not have a firm
semantic foundation and to agitate that they be given such, particularly in
response to comments like 

  ``I think that it would help the RDF community if you [Pat Hayes] would
  publicly explain in detail what the flaws [of RDF] are.''

This is not to say that it is not also useful to discuss the KIF
axiomatization for RDF(S), but that is a different discussion.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research


From: Deborah McGuinness <dlm@ksl.stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: semantics status of RDF(S)
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 09:27:04 -0700

> I can not speak for the formal W3C RDF(S)  committee but will relay the gist of a few personal
> communications.
> When Richard Fikes and I published our axiomatic semantics
> (http://www.ksl.Stanford.EDU/people/dlm/daml-semantics/abstract-axiomatic-semantics.html), we
> received interest from  RDF(S) authors in using our axioms as the basis for the RDF(S)
> semantics.  It is the case as far as I know that no formal statement has been made stating that
> our axiomatization (or any other axiomatization) is the officially blessed foundation for
> RDF(S).
> Richard and I are happy to submit our axiomatization as the starting point.
> We also welcome constructive suggestions on the axiomatization in its evolution  in serving the
> DAML and broader W3C communities.
> I would like to support Richard's suggestion that we might focus our discussion of the need for
> a firm semantic foundation for RDF(S) in the form of constructive criticism of existing
> foundations such as our document.
> 
> Deborah McGuinness
Received on Monday, 2 April 2001 12:52:15 GMT

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