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Re: reification (editorial)

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 09:50:33 -0400
Message-ID: <51A607A9.9060402@openlinksw.com>
To: public-rdf-comments@w3.org
On 5/29/13 8:29 AM, Sandro Hawke wrote:
> On 05/28/2013 03:41 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> On 5/20/13 11:39 AM, Henry Story wrote:
>>> In Turtle there is no way of specifying a graph (other than through 
>>> reificiation which
>>> is understood to be broken).
>> Why is reification assumed to be broken? I think the perception is 
>> that its cumbersome due to data bloat. Like blank nodes, this is a 
>> feature of RDF that's often misunderstood and then in the process 
>> maligned.
>> Reification is the powerful mechanism for granular descriptions of 
>> triples (statements) without exiting existing RDF semantics.
> I wonder if there's some useful guidance we can give about when/how to 
> use reification, or if it's best to just remain silent.

Silent until the right time and place. For example, when a situation 
arises where demonstrating the granularity of RDF's self description is 
the key point to be made and demonstrated. We have a massive collection 
of reification statements from the likes of Uniprot and YAGO2 that 
(under the right circumstances) demonstrate the importance of 
reification and its utility in current form.

> There will be a very strong temptation for some people to represent 
> datasets in graphs using reification, but (as Henry pointed out) 
> that's very hard to do because datasets are referentially opaque while 
> reification is referentially transparent.


> (Of course it's possible to make a referentially opaque reification 
> vocabulary (as I did in [1]), but it's pretty awkward.)    Anyway, 
> since we decided not to deprecate reification, I think (as an 
> editorial matter) it would be excellent if we could give some helpful 
> advice about it. If someone thinks they could draft that advice such 
> that it would get WG consensus, that'd be great.

In my case, I will drop some notes and demos (via my usual channels) 
based on Uniprot and YAGO2, when I have a moment.

>         -- Sandro
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/rif-in-rdf/



Kingsley Idehen	
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OpenLink Software
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Received on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 13:50:57 UTC

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