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

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 00:59:45 -0600
Cc: Michael Schneider <schneid@fzi.de>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
Message-Id: <D83B4794-487A-475D-82BD-84F6029D87A2@ihmc.us>
To: Sampo Syreeni <decoy@iki.fi>

On Jan 15, 2010, at 9:18 PM, Sampo Syreeni wrote:

> On 2010-01-15, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> It's not that simple.
> My very point is that too. Thus if you want to get things done at  
> all, you have to *make* it simple. By brute force if need be.

Quite, but when 'you' is a committee, this takes time and always  
results in compromise. The RDF literal-typing structure, for example,  
is one of the simplest designs we considered. I did not keep an  
accurate count of the number of alternatives we considered and  
rejected, but I know I wrote 13 different versions of the semantics  
for datatyping. It took longer to get it that simple than it takes to  
make a baby.

> My relapse into an assassination fantasy was only half a joke, there.
>> And the semantics were very clear from the beginning. We weren't in  
>> a confused muddle or anything like that. But the devil, as they  
>> say, is in the details.
> I know very well. What I'm saying, to hell with that particular  
> devil. It don't need no stinkin axiomatic semantics.

It doesnt have an axiomatic semantics, it has a (very simple) model- 
theoretic semantics.

> Sure, that'll royally fuck everything up if you try to reason on top  
> of hte thing. But then, that ain't gonna happen anytime soon, and  
> those folks will be able to retreat into their own, purer-than-pure  
> trenches/namespaces when they want to.

Well, sorry, but it is happening soon, in fact its happening right  
now. Without at least some reasoning there is no point in having a  
semantic web at all.

>> The semantics of RDF, as defined in the spec, are about as  
>> "standard" as you could wish for. They are based on ideas which  
>> have been textbook stuff since the 1930s.
> As far as description logics go, let's say 50's to 70's.

It isn't a description logic, its basic FOL. With a slight tweak to  
conform to Common Logic, I will admit, but that can be traced back to  
about 1880.

> I do know what we're talking about. The problem is more about why  
> people talk so much about it. In my mind silence translates into  
> understanding of the semantics. More talk about them then translates  
> into possible refined semantics, and/or even discord over the base  
> semantics.
>> If anything, we may have erred by not being more imagiative, IMO.
> In fact much agreed.
>> Part of our problem here is that we aren't consolidating an  
>> existing body of expertise. Rather, we are in the strange position  
>> of needing to define the standard to be used in a new technology  
>> which cannot even come into existence until the standard is created  
>> and widely accepted. Maybe we shouldn't refer to them as 'standards'.
> Which is precisely why I'd go with the "profane" version, first.  
> Simply don't aim at any specific solution, but let the market  
> decide, at least at first. As always in the online world, adoption  
> comes first. Good standards of behavior come second or third, if  
> ever. Really the only thing you can do is to point the way a little  
> bit, always using technical means only.

Well, I basically agree, but you have to give the users *somethjing*  
to get things up and running at all. And like Ive said on other  
messages, its hard to think of a descriptive formalism that has less  
in it than RDF has.

> I mean, the rooster's gonna run. You can pinch it, gun it down or  
> let it roost. Any which way, you're gonna come up with chicks or one  
> dissapointing capon. I'd choose the chicks no matter the color.

You've lost me here.


> -- 
> 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

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Received on Saturday, 16 January 2010 07:00:48 UTC

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