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Re: Subjects as Literals, [was Re: The Ordered List Ontology]

From: Axel Rauschmayer <axel@rauschma.de>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 20:37:02 +0200
Message-Id: <6C0D2DED-895B-4833-89E1-2D6ED7DDE07E@rauschma.de>
Cc: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, nathan@webr3.org, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
>> I use RDF like a next-generation relational database and think that RDF could be sold to many people this way (there is possibly are larger audience for this than for ontologies, reasoning, etc.). Especially considering how No-SQL is currently taking off. This part needs some love and seems to suffer from the almost exclusive focus on semantics.
> Fair enough. I guess Im not sure how this next-generation-RDB usage fits with the RDF semantics, but I'd be interested in pursuing this further. Does this RDF/RDB++ vision provide any guidance towards what RDF is supposed to, like, mean? Pointers?

Does it have to mean anything? Iíve always found tuple calculus and relational algebra quite intuitive, but as far as I remember, it is very light on semantics, everything is "just data". URIs as symbols are useful, but I would not know how to express the concepts they represent formally. What else is needed? A simple schema language, which should probably assume a closed world and unique names (unless specified otherwise). Iím surprised how something that is trivial (and common!) for relational databases is very hard for SPARQL (for example, letting SPARQL return a table where each row is a resource [1]).

Additionally, it would be useful if SPARQL allowed one to do backward-chaining via rules (some RIF implementations seem to do this). I can only come up with a few use-cases (sub-properties, transitive properties), but those would definitely help.

[1] http://www.w3.org/2009/12/rdf-ws/papers/ws17

There might not be anything in it, scientifically, but it would help to sell RDF to a community that is largely orthogonal to the one that is after RDF + semantics.

Dr. Axel Rauschmayer
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Received on Monday, 5 July 2010 18:37:34 UTC

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