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

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 6:02 PM, Pat Hayes <> wrote:
> On Jan 15, 2010, at 3:36 AM, Danny Ayers wrote:
> Well, OK, I guess there is a real split between the idea of RDF being simply
> a datastructuring device along the lines of LISP or XML, and its being a
> language with a semantics (and so supporting inference). Ive always assumed
> that it was the latter. But if y'all think that the semantic web doesn't
> need semantics after all, go ahead. I do have other things to do.

It's a framework for describing stuff(*), the original '97 WG got that
right in the naming, even if 'Resource description framework' isn't
the most elegant of names. Once we agreed that for these purposes, all
things are resources, at least that mission was somewhat clear.

So what are the interesting characteristics of 'descriptions', in a
computing context (setting aside poetry, rhetoric etc for now)?
They're generally understood to be the kinds of thing that come from a
point of view, can be rich or crappy, accurate or misleading, and are
composed from smaller claims whose accuracy and implications can be
independently assessed, extracted or analysed. I'd try to keep these
sorts of (very informal) observations in mind before going too far
down the 'it's just a way to put data on the Web'. Zeros and ones are
a way to put data on the Web. To have a framework for describing
stuff, we need to have some associated practices for figuring out what
those zeros and ones tell us about the world. When we're dealing with
descriptions, ... they're descriptions 'of'/'about' something, and
hopefully the acquisition of multiple descriptions should shed light
either on the consistency or conflicts amongst those descriptions, or
on the characteristics of the things they describe. Ideally both...


Received on Saturday, 16 January 2010 08:07:53 UTC