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RE: Alternatives to containers/collections (was Re: Requirements for a possible "RDF 2.0")

From: Michael Schneider <schneid@fzi.de>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 23:04:46 +0100
Message-ID: <0EF30CAA69519C4CB91D01481AEA06A0019D57B1@judith.fzi.de>
To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>, "Jeremy Carroll" <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
Hi Pat!

Pat Hayes wrote:

>On Jan 15, 2010, at 3:23 PM, Michael Schneider wrote:
>
>> Pat Hayes wrote:
>>
>>> +1. We have to be very careful about what exactly "optional" is
>>> supposed to mean in a standard whose intention is to support
>>> interoperability. If every processor is obliged to be able to process
>>> it, its not optional. If they aren't, then interopreability is
>>> compromised.
>>>
>>> Pat
>>
>> If only things would always melt down to such a simple formula...
>
>Well, simple rules are sometimes good guides to behavior. I take it
>that you would prefer the much more complicated advice, to let it all
>hang out.

I'm talking about long and fruitless battles in a W3C working group to find
consent over a topic, where no consent is to be expected, except for the
case that someone gives up or leaves the group. 

If someone is going to suggest to remove or even only deprecate a certain
feature from RDF, like containers, or reification, or RDF/XML, or bNodes, or
all the things that have been suggested in this discussion as candidates for
removal/deprecation, don't you think that there will be opposition in the
working group, by some members at least (which would be sufficient according
to W3C procedures), and if only for the generic reason that backwards
compatibility has to be preserved by all means?

My suggestion was about avoiding those IMO otherwise unavoidable battles, or
at least for settling them when they will occur.

>> Maybe we should deprecate the "MAY" word from RFC 2119?
>
>The point of MAY is not to licence options, but to delineate the
>boundaries of what everyone has to agree is permitted. LIke I say, if
>its permitted, and if that means that your engine has to be able to
>cope with it somehow, then its not optional . If everyone MAY use one
>of three syntaxes, and it says so in the spec, then every engine is
>OBLIGED to be able to process all three of them. If the choice of
>syntax is simply optional, then we will have three incompatible
>communities, or the kind of chaos that we have now for RDF syntax.

  <http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt>

  5. MAY   This word, or the adjective "OPTIONAL", mean that an item is
     truly optional.  One vendor may choose to include the item because a
     particular marketplace requires it or because the vendor feels that
     it enhances the product while another vendor may omit the same item.

Looks, as if there are different readings...

>Pat

Best,
Michael

--
Dipl.-Inform. Michael Schneider
Research Scientist, Information Process Engineering (IPE)
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Email: michael.schneider@fzi.de
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Received on Friday, 15 January 2010 22:05:19 UTC

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