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RE: How will the semantic web emerge

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 13:01:25 -0800
Message-ID: <0E36FD96D96FCA4AA8E8F2D199320E52075E88A7@RED-MSG-43.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Henry Story" <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Cc: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>

> All I see is a re-statement of an opinion on your litmus test page.
> Not a backing of it.

That is correct.  Frank asked for clarification of my opinion about
rdf:type, and I believe that clearly lays out my opinion.

As for backing it up, I wasn't intending to get in a debate about it.
My predictions are pretty clear, and history will tell if I was right.
To clarify a bit, I am basically saying that "type information gets in
the way of broad semantic interoperability".  Or "the first wave of
semantic web will be built with the type of information which does not
require strong typing".

Another way to look at it -- I think software should be written to look
for the specific predicates that it needs, without regards to the
rdf:type.  The "type" is defined by the existence of a collection of
predicates.  By introducing rdf:type, all you do is introduce the
possibility that the rdf:type and the collection of predicates might
mismatch, and you foil merge scenarios.  Then you end up with different
engines all deciding which route to take (honor rdf:type, or honor the
predicates which you can plainly read?).  My opinion is that the meaning
of the predicate (or combination of predicates) should be clear enough
that it does not require additional information to be processed.  Using
rdf:type as a hint is fine, but it should always be possible to process
the information in the absence of rdf:type.

I realize that there are many scenarios where this will not work.  Those
scenarios will not be mainstream v1 semantic web scenarios.
Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2005 21:02:26 UTC

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