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Re: Summary and some analysis: New Semantics Initiative

From: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 15:53:34 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: "R.V.Guha" <guha@guha.com>
Cc: rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

At 14:01 12/06/2002 -0700, R.V.Guha wrote:


>  About axiomatic definitions of languages: I am not surprised at the 
> reaction of Peter F Patel Schnieder and Ian Horrocks. They have in the 
> past made it very clear that they do not, as a matter of principle, like 
> axiomatic definitions of languages.

Fair enough, and I should make it clear that Peter was very open that his 
motivation derived from a stylistic concern that axiomatic representations 
of semantics are more error prone.

>I would like to get a wider sample, especially from the folks building 
>stuff (like Libby, Connolly, ...).

Just so.

>  What we are proposing is relatively old-hat. There may be discussions of 
> style, but not of substance. So, I don't expect much time to get spent on 
> this. If anything, it will save us time by clarifying a bunch of issues.


>  Given the number of different folk who have responded saying that it 
> would be a useful part of rdf specs,

references - with particular emphasis on specific ways it will be useful?

I've got a sense that people in the WG are supportive of this, but I'm 
concerned that its supporters in their enthusiasm for it are being a little 
over zealous in their claims.

>  even if it does not get used by webont, I humbly propose that we do.

I want to take the sense of the WG on this, but I would like the WG to know 
that I have procedural concerns:

   o this is being rushed - and the need for speed is not clear to me.  I 
believe that many of the issues of M&S arose from changes made late in the 

   o it is being put together by only a subset of the community interested 
in this area which does not provide an adequate basis for consensus.

     I suppose I might as well be open about one of my worries here.  If a 
subset of the logicians go one way in RDFCore, and a different subset go a 
different way in webont then we will be left with a war between the WG's.

     I still think that the right way to do this is to lock all the 
logicians in a room without a lavatory with all the beer they can drink 
until they agree on a solution and advise both WG's accordingly.

   o the non-normative status of the proposed new document means that 
webont can't build a normative spec on it and that does not seem good 
enough to resolve the issue that is the motivation for doing this.

I would like to hear the WG's thoughts on:

   o to address this problem the solution must be normative; W3C notes and 
non-normative appendices don't hack it.

   o the consensus process must be open to all with a stake in the issue

Received on Thursday, 13 June 2002 13:09:52 UTC

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