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Re: Can we agree on triples ?

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 14:28:34 -0400
To: seth@robustai.net
Cc: drew.mcdermott@yale.edu, jonas@rit.se, phayes@ai.uwf.edu, www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010402142834Z.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: "Seth Russell" <seth@robustai.net>
Subject: Can we agree on triples ?
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 10:51:51 -0700

> From: "Drew McDermott" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>
> 
> > In my URF world, couldn't I say
> >
> >  Inferencing is an application that sits on top of the Unicode ... let the
> >  best one win.  I fail to see how this is an argument against simply using
> >  Unicode.
> 
> Again your choice of a an example has made my argument absurd; if you choose
> an appropriate example of supervinece I believe you would agree that it is
> not the degenerate case you exemplify.

Perhaps, but how is the RDF use of triples any different from Drew's URF?
I don't see much difference, if any.

> > The point is that no one is arguing against using Unicode or RDF as a
> > coding scheme; the argument is against using either as a formal
> > language.  If RDF is simply an encoding scheme, then we can put it on
> > the back burner and focus on the language actually being encoded.
> > If we view it *as a formal language*, then its flaws loom large.  It
> > lacks many key features, including implication and bound variables.
> 
> Did I miss something here?  I thought that the RDF triples model *was* only
> a coding scheme and has never  purported to be a *formal language*.   

A coding scheme is a formal language.

> But
> shouldn't we formally agree that triples *are* the building blocks of any
> next level "formal language" before we move on?  Continually bickering about
> that will mean that collectively our projects will fragment.

Sure, why not.  That would be OK for me (but certainly not ideal).

But RDF uses triples for lots more than just a building block of the next
layer.  RDF provides representational import for all triples that it sees.
Further, the approved mechanism for the next level is not to implement it
on top of RDF, but instead to extend RDF.  The RDF-imposed meaning for all

peter
Received on Monday, 2 April 2001 14:30:07 GMT

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