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incorporating constructs with no formal meaning (was ....)

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 12:40:08 -0500
To: daml@lassila.org
Cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020218124008T.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: Ora Lassila <daml@lassila.org>
Subject: Re: Patel-Schneider Paradox ...
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:03:16 -0500

> Peter,
> 
> >  > >3/ properties with no formal meaning
> >>
> >>  OK, so what? They have no meaning, you can do what you like. That's
> >>  not a problem.
> >
> >On the contrary, such constructs are endless sources of problems when they
> >occur in a specification.   Sure they cause no formal problems, but they do
> >cause the generation of considerable amounts of non-luminous warmth.
> 
> Unfortunately, these properties with no formal meaning have a great 
> *practical* value to implemetors of real-world systems. Maybe that is 
> not of interest to you ;-)

Well, it is not of interest to me as a designer of a language.  How can it
be, if there is no impact on the language?

I agree with you that properties with no formal meaning do have value.  But
I don't see any more meaning to rdf:subject than to foo:child (at least in
the formal part of RDF).  If RDF is going to include a vocabulary for
statements, with no extra formal meaning for the constructs in this
vocabulary, then why should RDF not include a vocabulary for people?

As far as I can see, there are only two aspects to such an inclusion:
1/ a hint that this vocabulary is the one to be used by everyone who wishes
   to talk about statements (and/or statings)  and
2/ the elevation of the status of debates over this vocabulary to the same
   status as debates over the constructs of the language that do have
   meaning.


[...]

> Regards,
> 
> 	- Ora

[...]


Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research 
Received on Monday, 18 February 2002 12:41:48 GMT

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