W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > November 1999

Re: Simpler syntax for RDF

From: Sankar Virdhagriswaran <sv@crystaliz.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:19:05 -0500
Message-Id: <199911171319.IAA07076@hunchuen.crystaliz.com>
To: Stefan Decker <stefan@db.stanford.edu>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

>RDF will be used and created by machines, NOT users.
>So make it easy for programers to create programs.

Even without this point, Sergey's proposal is a sound proposal. The above
point will get us potentially into a rat hole. Sergey's suggested syntax is
simple. Period.

>But we should be very careful introducing something that people
>will not understand.
>And the other side choosing an
>to expressive formalism will end up in non terminating
>inference engines on the web and even more difficult problem.

These two are very, very important points and I agree with you completely.
There is a reason constraint logic programming came about. There is a reason
DEC gave up on OPS-5. Predicate logic is very, very powerful. Novice users
will have problems in understanding it and will write statements that will
be non terminating. Everybody who has written expert systems knows the
effect of one non terminating rule. 

>If the basic notation (semantic networks) falls through,
>then the more powerful does also.
>Or to put it another way: i would not introduce XML before HTML is settled ;-)

Hear, hear!

>So we are fortunately inside FOL.
>(Also the translation from the second to the first syntax can be done by 
>rules, we just need
>a Skolem-function for generating a unique ID for the statement.)

One might have to sugar up the syntax to make it look more friendly to folks
used to the markup languages. But, your proposal is a sound start. 
Received on Wednesday, 17 November 1999 08:18:49 UTC

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