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

Re: universal languages

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 14:43:14 +0000
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20010203143214.038c2810@pop3.connectfree.uk.com>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: Drew McDermott <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, www-rdf-logic@w3.org
At 05:17 PM 2/2/01 -0600, Dan Connolly wrote:
> > Let me repeat the problem: If RDF is just a mechanism for describing
> > the syntax of some other language, then it's irrelevant.
>
>Not totally; you have to have some syntax to put in email
>and to put into and out of tools. There's a certain
>investment in software and wetware in RDF. Mabye not
>indispensable, but not irrelevant either.
>
> >  If it is the
> > actual language, then it's inadequate.
>
>Yes, indeed; that's generally the case with releases
>with .0 on the end, no?

I'm not yet ready to concede that RDF is "indadequate", even though it may 
be insufficient for some range of --even many-- common applications.

In response to Drew's comment:
>Let me repeat the problem: If RDF is just a mechanism for describing
>the syntax of some other language, then it's irrelevant.  If it is the
>actual language, then it's inadequate.

... my response would be that it's neither of those things;  rather it is a 
foundation, or part, of the language [for describing those things we want 
to describe].

If I gave you a tin of nuts-and-bolts and small mechanical items, they 
wouldn't constitute a very good car.  But try to build a car without 
them...  and there may be some tasks for which they are sufficient.  Hence 
my (admittedly artifical) distinction between inadequate and insufficient.

IMO, there are some things for which RDF is sufficient, and it would be a 
shame to complicate the core machinery of those simple things to support 
more ambitious goals when the required machinery could be built on top of 
the simple core.  I think there's real value in discovering just how much 
can be achieved with a limited, simple core.

#g
Received on Saturday, 3 February 2001 09:44:02 GMT

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