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Re: Show me the money - (was Subjects as Literals)

From: Henry Story <henry.story@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 11:38:39 +0200
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>, Yves Raimond <yves.raimond@gmail.com>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, nathan@webr3.org, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <24D3E31A-FAE0-4595-A969-5A7D8A7B97B2@bblfish.net>
To: Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>

On 2 Jul 2010, at 09:39, Ian Davis wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 4:44 AM, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
>> Jeremy, your argument is perfectly sound from your company's POV, but not
>> from a broader perspective. Of course, any change will incur costs by those
>> who have based their assumptions upon no change happening. Your company took
>> a risk, apparently. IMO it was a bad risk, as you could have implemented a
>> better inference engine if you had allowed literal subjects internally in
>> the first place, but whatever. But that is not an argument for there to be
>> no further change for the rest of the world and for all future time. Who
>> knows what financial opportunities might become possible when this change is
>> made, opportunities which have not even been contemplated until now?
> I think Jeremy speaks for most vendors that have made an investment in
> the RDF stack. In my opinion the time for this kind of low level
> change was back in 2000/2001 not after ten years of investment and
> deployment. Right now the focus is rightly on adoption and fiddling
> with the fundamentals will scare off the early majority for another 5
> years. You are right that we took a risk on a technology and made our
> investment accordingly, but it was a qualified risk because many of us
> also took membership of the W3C to have influence over the technology
> direction.
> I would prefer to see this kind of effort put into n3 as a general
> logic expression system and superset of RDF that perhaps we can move
> towards once we have achieved mainstream with the core data expression
> in RDF. I'd like to see 5 or 6 alternative and interoperable n3
> implementations in use to iron out the problems, just like we have
> with RDF engines (I can name 10+ and know of no interop issues between
> them)

I like this solution.

There are a lot of good reasons for keeping rdf/xml as is.
For one many people use it. Secondly it does not have named graphs, which means that
at least people using it, must stick to saying what they know/believe, instead of trying to
say what they think other people know. This means there is a lot less ways for
people to go wrong.

But we could focus on N3 and standardise it as N4 perhaps. This would
give us a powerful notation for writing out rules, doing clever belief based 
reasoning, add methematical functions, ... which will be needed by any linked 
data application: those apps need to have rules such as "believe what Jane says 
about knitting but not about medicine".

As those advanced usages get to be tested we can then finally come back to rdf/xml
and other formats if needed and enhance them. I think doing this will help the
vendors start thinking about enhancing their rdf machinery making
it a lot more flexible over time. For some reason these vendors seem to 
have unnecessarily limited the functioning of their engines.

It is also a lot easier to teach something like N3. 


> Ian
Received on Friday, 2 July 2010 09:39:15 UTC

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