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

Re: DAML+RDFS: potentials for simplifications?

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 15:21:43 -0600
Message-Id: <p05101016b82b0459ad0e@[65.212.118.149]>
To: Joachim.Peer@unisg.ch
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
[To Peter Patel-Schneider:]
>Hi,
>
>thank you a lot for your answer!
>
>yes, the simplification I proposed looks not really amazing. however, I
>think from an application developer's view it could mean a lot: it enables
>direct parsing of structured knowledge instead of parsing huge amount of
>triples and then figuring out the structure...

If you think of triples as a datatstructuring device, the contrast is 
less acute. But certainly, triples are not the most efficient way to 
encode arbitrary syntactic structure.

>however my problem is that i do not know if i "need RDF".
>When I hear RDF, 2 positive associations come to my mind:
>- exhaustive use of the simple but effective URI concept, thus enabling a
>truly interconnected web (of ontologies)

URIs can be used in almost any syntax, however.

>- some correspondence to First order predicate logic, which, in turn,
>suggest capabilities for automatic reasoning and proofing and such.
>
>The first of the positive assets I associate to RDF can easily be replaced
>or emulated by an arbitrary XML attribute or element, which, by convention
>contains an URI (e.g. about="..", resource="..", ID="..")
>
>The second positive asset is much more difficult for me, because i have no
>background in logics, and therefore i do not know if I risk losing power
>when dropping RDF.

Certainly not logical expressiveness, if that is what you mean; the 
logical power of RDF is very weak. The chief utility of RDF at 
present is essentially a political one. It is becoming accepted as a 
kind of common standard, or a foundation on which to build more 
powerful languages. This is why DAML+OIL was required by mandate to 
be described as an RDFS extension as far as possible. So what you 
risk by dropping RDF(S) is the possibility of being consistent with 
an evolving standard; ie essentially a social loss rather than a 
logical one.

Pat Hayes.


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Received on Wednesday, 28 November 2001 16:20:47 UTC

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