W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > April 2001

RE: RDF semantics: applications, formalism and education

From: Danny Ayers <danny@panlanka.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 12:04:50 +0600
To: "Aaron Swartz" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Cc: "Www-Rdf-Logic" <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

<- > Is RDF hobbled without the logic that some people are saying
<- it needs? Ok,
<- > several people have used formal terms to describe these
<- shortcomings (that I
<- > have serious trouble following, BTW). If the thing(s) that are
<- lacking can
<- > be specified in this way, surely it wouldn't be too much more
<- trouble to
<- > suggest some workarounds and/or alternatives.
<- Danny, as I've pointed out before, this is not an issue. RDF already has
<- reification built in which makes this not a problem. The problem is that
<- people don't like reification.

Personally I can't see the problem - I can imagine RDF being suitable for
pretty much anything in this realm we can throw at it. But I'm not an expert
on logic, and several people who appear to know what they are talking about
differ in quite strong terms. There is certainly a point that RDF might get
used for purposes for which it wasn't originally intended (a by-product of
innovation) where weaknesses that we can get around with current
applications may become Achilles heels. The viewpoint of the logicians may
be skewed, perhaps they are simply looking for something that isn't
essential, but generally speaking ignoring the advice of experts isn't good
practice, and in any system it's easier to fix problems early on. That there
actually is an rdf-logic list is a good sign that potential problems of this
nature will be nipped in the bud.  The prospect of the potential
embarrassment on getting the fundamentals for the Semantic Web wrong should
also help concentrate a few minds ;-)
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2001 02:10:35 UTC

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