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Re: New document: revised version for WG review)

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 08:30:50 -0400
Message-ID: <3D4A7B7A.6030600@mitre.org>
To: RDF core WG <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

I was on the hook to review section 2.3 (Meaning).  Basically, this 
section reflects (accurately!) the fact that it was written by different 
people at different times.  I don't think some of the points are going 
to come across very well, but I don't see the need to delay publication 
of the WD (assuming the WG agrees to do that) on this account.  I DO 
think that a rewrite is needed before last call, however (I'm sorry I 
didn't have time to provide some suggestions here;  maybe later).

I think sections 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 are fairly clear, although the use of 
"assertion" in 2.3.2 needs some clarification.  In particular, the last 
sentence of paragraph 1 of 2.3.2 says "which distinguish assertions from 
other uses (e.g. citations, denals [sic] or illustrations)."  And the 
last sentence says:  "A media type, application/rdf+xml is being 
registered for indicating the use of RDF/XML as an assertional 
representation in this way".  2.3.1 says that each triple makes a 
distinct assertion (unqualified, i.e., all triples are assertions), 
while 2.3.2 apparently uses "assertion" to mean a real, 
honest-to-goodness, assertion, as distinct from, say, an illustration. 
So in 2.3.2, some triples are apparently *not* "assertions". An 
illustration in 2.3.2 is something like an "assertion" (according to 
2.3.1 usage) in a particular context where it should be interpreted 
differently.  I think this is going to confuse people.

The text in section 2.3.3 I think is too involved to get its points 
across compared to the preceding sections, and mixes those points up too 
much.  There seem to be two points covered (the section title only 
covers one of them):  (a) that what is asserted by an RDF graph consists 
not only of the triples that are explicitly there, but also the triples 
that can be logically inferred from the graph (i.e., there is a formal 
logical inference process that can be applied, which determines 
additional *formal* meaning, and this is independent of any social 
meaning that may be assigned to either the original graph, or the 
inferred graph) (b) that there is a social meaning that can/will be 
associated with the graph, and with the inferences.  [Note that the 
notion of "inference" is introduced here without explanation.]

2.3.4 seems to make a mixture of points that seem to be at least touched 
on in the earlier sections, and probably could be merged with them.

In general, it's not always clear what we intend the readers to take 
away with them after having read this.  It seems to me a way forward to 
clear this up would be to simply list what points we want to get across 
in simple, individual sentences, and then write some text to cover them.

In haste,


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Friday, 2 August 2002 08:17:28 UTC

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