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Re: Datatyping and idioms

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 11:17:02 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Cc: RDF core WG <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
At 09:31 AM 2/8/02 +0000, patrick.stickler@nokia.com wrote:
>Perhaps at first, though ultimately, we need to choose
>specific idioms, and those idioms have to be an integral
>part of the final solution, in order to achieve consistency
>of expression and interoperability between applications
>(consistency of interpretation).

Here I disagree.  I think we need to specify the appropriate semantics of 
any valid RDF expression.  (It might be appropriate for the primer to 
indicate what idioms can then be used to achieve common goals.)

>We cannot end up with a scenario of "use whatever idiom
>suits your fancy". There should be two and only two "official"
>idioms -- one for local and one for global datatyping.
>And while users always remain free to express their knowledge
>in whatever idiom they like, those idioms will be proprietary
>and not part of the expectations that all users will share for
>the effective global interchange of knowledge.

No, please, no.  There should be no proprietary idioms.  Any RDF whose 
intended interpretation is in accordance with the formal semantics should 
be exchangeable between RDF processors, and the level of mutual 
understanding dependent only on whether there is sufficient common 
understanding of externally defined vocabulary.  It should never be 
possible to entail incorrect conclusions, whatever idiom is used.

The role of idioms is to help authors use the language.  Idioms, per se, 
have no part in determining the meaning of the language used.  That *would* 
be the tail wagging the dog.


Graham Klyne                    MIMEsweeper Group
Strategic Research              <http://www.mimesweeper.com>
Received on Friday, 8 February 2002 07:00:24 UTC

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