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

From: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 00:11:15 +0200 (EET)
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
cc: Michael Schneider <schneid@fzi.de>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1001152354060.4722@lakka.kapsi>
On 2010-01-15, Pat Hayes wrote:

> 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.

As for me, I'd make it straight. What do we want from the standard? 
Spell it out loud, now, like we should have done when we set out with 
RDF in the first place. If the full expectation had been spilled out at 
the outset, none of this would be taking place now. So spill out the 
proper semantics you want, and be content with the fact that they might 
be shot out of the sky later on. If so, they weren't mature enough to be 
standardized just yet. No, don't expect them to be fleshed out in 
debate; either they're set enough to be standardized as they are, or 
they will have to wait out for the next round, in a few years time.

I don't think any other approach can really a) guarantee a reasonably 
stable environment in which useful applications can be built without 
continuous "standards" changes mucking up the effort, or b) guarantee 
even a coherent, scientifically well-founded standard to begin with.

> 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.

Just so. And then, you *aren't* obliged to process *any* syntax which 
would countermand the standard. Usually IETF documents are also worded 
in a way that precludes but one option, in either particular case, if 
any. And in any case, all options are *always* compatible -- in our case 
that would mean that any options we give must always be semantically 
compatible as well. There should never be any amgiguity as to what the 
semantics of the protocol or the data representation are, even if the 
level of abstraction might vary.
Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - decoy@iki.fi, http://decoy.iki.fi/front
+358-50-5756111, 025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
Received on Friday, 15 January 2010 22:11:58 UTC

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