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Re: questions about rdfs:Datatype [Was: RE: Seeking normative definition of datatyping]

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 07:36:53 -0500
Message-ID: <3DEDF6E5.3000904@mitre.org>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: Art.Barstow@nokia.com, www-rdf-comments@w3.org

Brian McBride wrote:

> At 12:39 03/12/2002 -0500, Art.Barstow@nokia.com wrote:
>> Hi Brian,
>> > From: ext Brian McBride [mailto:bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com]
>> > I'm not sure what you are looking for here Art.  The primer
>> > is (we hope)
>> > informative.  I think you can rely on the examples it provides.  We
>> > certainly haven't put in any that we know to be wrong.
>> My point is that M&S defined 15-20 normative examples.  Whereas the
>> Primer defines 0 normative examples; the Syntax examples in section 2
>> are "informal".  I think normative examples are important (for copying,
>> referencing, etc.) so I don't see the current situation as a step
>> forward.
> A concern I have about examples has been my past experience where folks 
> have over interpreted them.  The thing about examples is that they may 
> appeal to people's intuitions and that is risky in a normative spec.
> Do you have a specific need for normative examples or are you suggesting 
> in general that they are a 'good thing'.  I guess I'm not clear why they 
> have to be normative.

It seems to me a question in this context is what does "normative 
example" really mean (or, alternatively, what are we saying when we 
define a "normative example").  Perhaps Art could expand on his 
requirements a bit.  Certainly the examples in M&S were "normative 
examples" in the sense that they were contained in a normative 
specification.  Since I wasn't involved in creating those examples, I'm 
not sure if there was any additional intended meaning or not.  By this 
definition, the examples in the Syntax doc could be made normative 
(since this is a normative document) by removing any words that indicate 
the examples are less-than-normative (e.g., words like "informal"). 
What Art seems to be getting at is some additional meaning, like 
examples that have been specially checked for correctness, examples that 
illustrate intended correct usage or best practice, etc.  (I suppose by 
these sorts of criteria, only the complete examples in the Syntax doc 
would be considered normative, since some of the examples are explicitly 
indicated as being incomplete).  As Brian noted, we try to make all our 
examples "correct" in some sense, but the sense differs (e.g., the 
complete examples in the Syntax doc should all be correct RDF/XML, the 
examples in the Primer should be correct RDF graphs or triples, or 
correct RDF/XML, depending on the syntax used, and so on), but I don't 
know about additional meaning (like they are necessarily best practice). 
  I don't know that we necessarily have examples illustrating every 
feature in RDF either.



Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2002 07:23:24 UTC

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