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RE: Confusion about Collections

From: Danny Ayers <danny666@virgilio.it>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 12:27:47 +0100
To: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@mitre.org>, "Shelley Powers" <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Cc: <www-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EBEPLGMHCDOJJJPCFHEFIEONIJAA.danny666@virgilio.it>

I understand Shelley's concerns, but I think it's likely that this sort of
thing does go beyond what can reasonably be expected to fit in the current
Primer. Perhaps next time around a 10-page Primer and a 100-page Seconder
will be the answer ;-)

> But part of this problem about the lack of semantics
>associated with containers and reification has always existed, it just
>wasn't always clear.  That is, it wasn't clear how much of the intended
>meaning of, say, an Alt could actually be controlled by RDF, and how
>much had to be based on application writers doing appropriate things.
>RDF never, for example, specified an API that defined operations on
>containers, or had a way of controlling whether an application really
>used the first member of an Alt as the default value.  So this time
>around we're trying to be very clear about what things RDF by itself
>guarantees, and what things are not going to be interoperable unless
>everyone understands and implements the intended structure and behavior
>the same way.  Of course, you can get quite a lot done with these kinds
>of general understandings, and I expect people are successfully using
>containers and reification based on them.  It's just that we're trying
>to make a distinction between what RDF itself can realistically
>guarantee, and additional characteristics of these constructs that have
>to rely on people to "do the right thing".

I suppose it's the assumption that developers will "do the right thing"
that's been bugging me the most around the
containers/collections/reification discussions. The contexts & graph
'packaging' issues are likely to be faced by a very large proportion of
developers, and the quasi-avoidance of these issues within the spec seems to
me to weaken the whole framework.

Perhaps the answer is just to provide in the base specs a redirect to OWL
constraints (personally I haven't figured out the approaches available for
using OWL for this within an app, but it does sound viable).

Received on Tuesday, 26 November 2002 06:39:29 UTC

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