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RE: In defence of W3C - was RE: in defense of lawyers - was RE: RDF semantics

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 01:33:34 +0600
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
It may have appeared in the discussion before, but I'd like to know what
chain of events (or culture) led a bunch of pretty savvy people to produce a
recommendation that the logicians say has such a big hole in it that it
might be totally useless (in the long term).

Danny Ayers

<- -----Original Message-----
<- From: www-rdf-logic-request@w3.org
<- [mailto:www-rdf-logic-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Peter F.
<- Patel-Schneider
<- Sent: 10 April 2001 00:47
<- To: danny@panlanka.net
<- Cc: drew.mcdermott@yale.edu; www-rdf-logic@w3.org
<- Subject: in defense of lawyers - was RE: RDF semantics
<- It is very fashionable to put down lawers (and, in this group, it also
<- appears to be fasionable to put down logicians).  However, legal training
<- and experience is necessary to craft documents and agreements that will
<- 1/ stand up in court, and 2/ not cause more problems than they solve.  I
<- view the situation with respect to representation as quite similar:  It
<- takes logical training and experience to craft representations and
<- interfaces that will 1/ actually say and do what you want them
<- to (when not
<- helped along by human-level understanding), and 2/ not cause
<- more problems
<- later on than they solve now.
<- Perhaps those of us who are arguing for logical sophistication have not
<- been as explicit as we might in making our case.  However, Drew,
<- Pat, and I
<- have seen firsthand the problems that can arise when logical precepts are
<- ignored.  (I have even seen such problems with respect to my own work.)
<- All this is not to say that it is always necessary to take care
<- of all the
<- logical precepts in designing a representation system.  There are many
<- useful representation systems that are on shakey ground.  However, such
<- systems run into problems when they are used as components of other
<- systems, or are used by people (or systems) beyond the initial
<- core group,
<- or are used in ways that were not envisioned or completely
<- thought through
<- by the initial core group.  If you think that a web representation system
<- that is supposed to form the basis of all semantic web work doesn't fit
<- into any of these categories then you don't need a
<- firmly-grounded system.
<- If, on the other hand, [you can fill in this part] ....
<- Peter F. Patel-Schneider
<- Bell Labs Research
<- From: "Danny Ayers" <danny@panlanka.net>
<- Subject: RE: RDF semantics:  applications, formalism and education
<- Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 23:22:43 +0600
<- > Thanks for this - your description is very helpful.
<- >
<- > IANAL, and have been arguing from a point of view of
<- considerable ignorance
<- > of the actual problem (can you have a large quantity of
<- something missing?),
<- > but I worry when a lawyer/logician produces a bill - I prefer to see a
<- > pretty clear cut case. Having said that, I really do hope it
<- won't be long
<- > before the community reaches for its chequebook, one way or another.
<- >
<- > I think I'd better do some more reading before I dig myself too big a
<- > hole...
<- >
<- > ---
<- > Danny Ayers
<- > http://www.isacat.net
Received on Monday, 9 April 2001 15:37:11 UTC

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