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Re: Summary and some analysis: New Semantics Initiative

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 16:41:11 -0400
Message-ID: <3D090367.9030909@mitre.org>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: "R.V.Guha" <guha@guha.com>, rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

Brian McBride wrote:



>     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.

Are you looking for volunteers to proctor this process?  :-)

> 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.

I'm fundamentally supportive of this new initiative, but as a "process" 
matter I'd like to hear more on exactly what has to be "normative" in 
what's being proposed.  I understand that the WG needs a normative 
definition of the MT.  We have Pat's WD.  As I understand it, the new 
proposal doesn't really involve changing the model-theoretic definition 
of RDF that we already have (it involves some slight changes to the 
document text (the introduction), but not changes to the model theory 
itself).   In addition, we have two new documents:  (a) a description of 
a technique for defining semantics of languages;  (b) a description of 
the semantics of RDF in that language.  Now, in the current MT WD, it 
seems to me that what we've said is normative is the MT, not the 
technique Pat used for describing it.  If we publish (b) as also 
normative, what we're saying is that we assert that the semantics given 
in (b) are equivalent to those in the other MT document.  Now, that 
certainly means (assuming we're being responsible about what we say) 
that we understand (a) well enough to verify that (b) actually does 
specify equivalent semantics, but does that require that (a) itself be 
"normative"?  What does it mean for (a) to be "normative"?  If the 
proposal were instead to use FOL to describe the semantics, would we 
also need a document to say that FOL was "normative"?  (Clearly I'm a 
little confused, but I hope you get what I'm driving at).


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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Received on Thursday, 13 June 2002 16:32:51 UTC

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