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

Re: Reification as nesting

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 21:45:51 -0400
Message-ID: <01e501c0ee2a$6e728550$c201a8c0@CREST>
To: "Drew McDermott" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Drew McDermott" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>
To: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 12:51 PM
Subject: Reification as nesting

>    [Wolfram Conen]
>    I haven't found too much in the spec that forbids to interpret that
>    is being called "reification" in RDF M&S as nesting (and only as
>    nesting).
> Yes, I think you're right.  A lot of the arguments about this issue
> are based on the misconception that the advocates of "reification"
> were talking about quotation.  The rdf:quote mechanism clearly shows
> that one doesn't actually have to reify to achieve the desired
> effect, which is to block the inexorable triple-inference rule.

It seems to me that whether one "has" to depends on how one is trying to
"build on top" of RDF.
If "building on top" means producing a language which will include RDF as a
then one does not need reification to do nesting.  If "building on top"
means finding a way to convey the semantics of something in the new
langauge using only pure RDF and a bunch of new special Properties,
then one needs reification.  I feel that in the long run, the former is the
practical route, but it is nice to have the latter relationship as well.
The two ideas can coexist in the world.

> The good news is that a consensus is emerging, based on the idea of
> drawing a line around an RDF substructure with a note saying "Don't
> automatically infer the stuff in here."


> The bad news is that there are too many terms being used for this
> idea, including "context," "nesting," and "reification."

I don't see a conflict between "nesting" (what is going on)
and "context" (a relationship between one level of nesting
and the next highest).

Under DanC's influence I have been moving away from [Conceptual Graphs']
as a noun for the thing to "formula". So one formula can be the context
for another (sub-)formula.

> These terms
> have lots of distracting associations with other topics.  Some fairly
> neutral party (Lynn Stein?) should pick a term, and then we can all
> agree to use it, and turn our attention to the details of how to
> indicate nesting, or whatever we call it.
>                                              -- Drew McDermott
Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2001 21:46:03 UTC

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