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Re: What is an RDF Query?

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 15:13:21 -0400
To: sandro@w3.org
Cc: phayes@ai.uwf.edu, www-rdf-rules@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010911151321T.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Subject: Re: What is an RDF Query? 
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 14:43:50 -0400

> 
> Sure.  The question I think we're debating in this thread is simply
> whether those protocols should use an RDF syntax at the bottom-layer
> or not.  

> We could define a query protocol with an S-Expression syntax,
> an ASN.1 syntax, a internet "simple" (a la SMTP) style syntax, etc.  

This much I agree with wholeheartedly.  To a great extent, the syntax
doesn't matter much, if at all, as long as some reasonable syntax can be
devised for what we want to do.

> I
> suggest we ignore the syntax and simply say we're using an RDF
> assertional graph (knowledge base) to convey the query (and its response).

Now I have a real problem.  Saying that we are using an RDF assertional
graph carries along with it a lot of baggage, at least for human readers.
Why not just say that we want to convey a query and a response, and try to
figure out what sorts of queries and responses we want to query?  Then we
can argue about what syntax to use.

Yes, I know that syntax issues can cause lots of problems.  Yes, I know
that it is possible to get into troubles by ignoring syntax issues.
However, I think that it is much more likely to have lots of problems by
considering meaning secondary to syntax than by considering syntax
secondary to meaning.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2001 15:13:41 GMT

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