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Re: reification test case

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 14:42:20 -0500
To: seth@robustai.net
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020204144220Z.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: "Seth Russell" <seth@robustai.net>
Subject: Re: reification test case
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2002 11:14:12 -0800

> From: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
> 
> > There are arguments to be made on either side.  Some argue that there
> > should be multiple reifications, some argue that there should not. Given
> > that there are two viable possibilities, and that RDF M&S clearly comes
> > down on one side, switching to the other is a significant change, and
> > should not be made lightly.
> 
> That's just your opinion; I believe there are lawyers who could argue
> persuasively against it.

I'm interested in seeing any wording that indicates that there can be more
than one reification of a given statement.  I have looked, and can't find
any. 

[...]

> > RDF reification is what is described in RDF M&S.  It may not be very
> > useful but that doesn't mean that RDF reification should be something
> > different from what is described in RDF M&S.  (There are enough unclear
> > aspects of RDF M&S to argue over without changing the clear parts.)
> 
> You may say it is clear to you, but it has been pointed out that M&S is
> inconsistent in that regard.  The working group has been chartered to fix
> these confusions. We are not still back there in 1999 arguing about a
> literal interpretation of the M&S bible.

Again, I'm interested in wording in RDF M&S that indicates that there can
be more than one reification of a given statement.  I can't even find an
issue in the RDF Issue Tracking document about this.

> It seems to me that those in favor of a one-one mapping between a
> proposition and the description of that proposition are trying to limit the
> usefulness of RDF.  For what purpose, to what end ?

For the purpose of staying with the clear statements in RDF M&S, at least.
RDF is a specification.  It may be a useless specification but it is
something.  

If we are free to change the clearly-specified portions of RDF to make it
more useful, then why stop with reification?  Why not change containers, to
make them really represent bags or alternatives, for instance?  Why not add
in contexts so that we can really do something about reification?

If we change RDF at need, then there is no way to determine what RDF is and
is not, and thus really no way to improve on it.  When we are pretending to
be scientists we need well-defined artifacts or our deliberations are not
going to get anywhere.

> Seth Russell

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Monday, 4 February 2002 16:40:16 GMT

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