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LANG: Is a non-RDF triples syntax out of charter?

From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 16:46:55 -0500
Message-ID: <3CA38F4F.36EF6855@cse.lehigh.edu>
To: WebOnt <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
In the telecon today, when I mentioned that I was in favor of an
ontology language that was not constructed using RDF triples, Dan
Connolly suggested that this was outside of the charter. I have since
gone back and reread the charter, in order to determine if my suggestion
is clearly out of it. I was only able to find two relevant sentences to
this issue, which I discuss below.

The charter says the group must design "a Web ontology language, that
builds on current Web languages that allow the specification of classes
and subclasses, properties and subproperties (such as RDFS)." This is
probably what Dan is referring to. I may be getting into semantics here,
but I understand this as "RDFS may be one such language that we should
build on," not that we have to build on RDF. That is it says, "such as
RDF," not "including RDF." So, I don't find this a convincing reason for
rejecting my point of view.

The charter also say the language "will be designed for maximum
compatibility with XML and RDF language conventions." The phrase
"maximum compatibility" appears to give us some wiggle room. If we feel
that a certain degree of compatibility is impossible without undermining
the goals of our language, then maximum compatibility might be slightly
below that point. Also note that RDF Schema is not mentioned in that
sentence, and my proposal is that we still use RDF for representing
data, we just shouldn't use triples to represent logical definitions.

Thus, I would say that it is not clear that we are chartered to extend
RDF Schema. Furthermore, there is certainly nothing in the charter that
says the ontology language's syntax must be formed from RDF triples.

Jeff
Received on Thursday, 28 March 2002 16:46:58 GMT

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