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Re: review of XML in 10 points [was: AGENDA...]

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2001 09:13:51 -0500
To: danbri@w3.org
Cc: connolly@w3.org, phayes@ai.uwf.edu, janet@w3.org, bert@w3.org, em@w3.org, liam@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011207091351I.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Subject: Re: review of XML in 10 points [was: AGENDA...]
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 06:05:55 -0500 (EST)

> (-cc: webont wg; +cc: public archive list)
> I'm reasonably happy with the current text, and don't see any urgent need
> for the WebOnt WG to consider the XML/10pts doc. (Perhaps some WebOnt WG
> members might like to contribute to the drafting of the RDF Primer, though?)

Sure.  Except .... I don't have time, I don't have support from my
management for doing it, and I hate writing primer-like materials.  

> Anyway, nitpicking (with an eye to the rdf primer as target doc):
> 	'true knowledge' - is there any other kind (apart from
> 	non-propositional, which rdf/webont doesn't really
> 	attempt to capture...)

I was using true as in real, as opposed to fake.  I admit that I also used
it partly because of how it made the phrase sound, and also partly because
of the other meaning of true (i.e., not false).

> 	'collections of meanings' - I prefer to avoid physicalist
> 	metaphors for meaning. Talking about meaning as a type of thing or
> 	a type of stuff only confuses. You can't count it; and you can't
> 	weigh it either... But you can count (XML-encoded) claims about
> 	the proper/appropriate use of vocabulary. Meaning itself isn't
> 	downloadable, collectable... only (as per the final sentence)
> 	representable.

As a formalist (or at least a quasi-formalist) I try to use neutral terms
(like ``collection'') when I don't want to invoke any of the aspects of
more-specialized terms.  It might be better here to use a bare plural
(``meanings'') or even a bare singular (``meaning'').

> Grumbles aside, this is useful text...

Thanks.  I'm not sure what the next step should be.

> Dan


> On Thu, 6 Dec 2001, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> > Here is a stab at a replacement:
> >
> >
> > XML provides syntax for W3C's RDF, a language for expressing metadata
> > (information about information).  RDF is the first step towards the
> > Semantic Web, a web where not just uninterpreted data is passed between
> > traditional applications, but instead one where self-describing
> > information, and eventually true knowledge, can be transferred between
> > autonomous agents---programs that reside in the web and that can cooperate
> > with other such agents to achieve ad hoc tasks without preexisting
> > agreements between them concerning the meaning of the data they exchange.
> > To communicate such information, mechanisms for agreeing on the meanings of
> > terms are needed, just as people need to have agreement on the meanings of
> > the words they employ in their communication.  Collections of meanings for
> > terms in a certain area (from "shopping" to "manufacturing") are called
> > ontologies and are a necessary part of the Semantic Web.  RDF, ontologies,
> > and the representation of meaning needed so that computers can bettter help
> > people do work are all topics of W3C's Semantic Web Activity.
> >
> >
> > I've tried to skirt fairly close to my hype limit, as this is, after all,
> > sort of a press release.  I'm certainly not totally happy with this
> > paragraph.  It is rather hype-y for my taste, and may have too little about
> > XML in it for an ``XML in 10 Points'' document.  The introduction of
> > ontologies also does not flow as well as I would like.
> >
> > peter
> >
Received on Friday, 7 December 2001 09:14:40 UTC

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