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RE: UPDATE: why RDF syntax is not suitable for OWL

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 15 Feb 2002 11:35:32 -0600
To: "Smith, Michael K" <michael.smith@eds.com>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, "Peter F. "Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <1013794533.19851.49.camel@dirk>
On Fri, 2002-02-15 at 10:42, Smith, Michael K wrote:
> > I don't think the real issue has anything much 
> > to do with triples; and since so many people like triples, then why 
> > not let 'em use 'em, I would suggest.
> > Pat Hayes
> I think it is a mistake to think 'so many people like triples'.  Maybe
> within the RDF community.  But I presume one of our goals is to create a
> standard that is adopted by a much wider community.  I would assert that the
> wider community is  using XML syntax.

The wider community also uses links in the web; links that have
two ends and (in theory) a type. The semantic web, to me, is largely
about taking the theoretical possibilities of typed links
and exploiting them practically.

I can definitely see the downside of RDF being restricted to triples
(i.e. two-place predicates). I think an extension to n-ary
predicates would be interesting to consider. Along with
nicer syntax for collections, ala daml:collection.

>  They are writing and using tools that
> process XML.
> I will ask this question again: Where does the RDF standard say that its
> syntax is defined by triples?

The abstract syntax of RDF formulas takes the form of a set of triples;
the original specs were kinda buggy, but this is the section where
it tried to make this clear:

  This specification shows three representations of the data model;
  as 3-tuples (triples), as a graph, and in XML.

  -- http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-rdf-syntax-19990222/#model

>  Where is the formal triple syntax for RDF?

I think this is the best explanation to date:

  0.2 Graph syntax

> All I have seen is an XML syntax.  What documents have I not read?
> It would be perfectly reasonable to define a translation from XML to triples
> in support of existing tools.  Or for those people who like to read assembly
> code.
> - Mike
> Michael K. Smith
> EDS Austin Innovation Lab
> 98 San Jacinto, Suite 500
> Austin, TX 78701
> Work: 512 404-6683
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Friday, 15 February 2002 12:35:09 UTC

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