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

Re: Reification as nesting

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 10:14:42 -0500
Message-Id: <v04210168b74699b2d783@[]>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: "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: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:36 AM
>Subject: Re: Reification as nesting
> >
> >    [Pat Hayes]
> >    ....I rather liked "nesting", which is
> >    fairly free of mathematical/logical/linguistic baggage.
> >
> > My vote would be for "nesting" also.
> >
> >    There are two substantive things that nesting needs to be able to do.
> >    First, it must provide a way to distinguish triples from assertions.
> >    Some triples may be asserted, but the triples in a nesting aren't (at
> >    least, not directly; something else might be able to infer them, or
> >    something.).
> >
> > I've thought about this, following Jonathan Borden's proposals, and
> > decided that it's a nonissue.  An expression, or set of triples, is
> > asserted if someone asserts it (e.g., includes it at the top level of
> > their web page).
>Or, in fact, relatively.  The "asserted" is not an absolute thing, it is
>"asserted by" something.  A document parses to a top level set of triples.
>That is all an RDF document parses to.  An N3 document parses to a
>top level set of triples where some of the subject or object of those
>can themselves be sets of triples.


Is N3 syntactic sugar for RDF or not? If it is not, what relationship 
does it have to RDF? If it is, are the triples in those subject and 
object sets of triples asserted or not? Apparently not; so, what part 
of RDF stops them being asserted? (Are they reified?)

As far as I can see, RDF allows no options for a triple between being 
asserted and being reified: you either assert a triple or you 
describe it. How does N3 manage to slip past this rock-hardplace 

Of course I can see how one can fudge it by adding features to RDF 
(contexts, or quads, or addresses, or any number of ingenious tricks) 
but what I cannot see is how to fudge it *in RDF*.  Since N3 is 
widely cited as a kind of proof-of-concept for the utility of RDF, I 
would pray permission to be let in on the magic secret.


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Received on Friday, 8 June 2001 11:14:42 UTC

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