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Re: A certain difficulty

From: Eric Hellman <eric@openly.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 13:17:50 -0500
Message-Id: <v04220805b4db20769d1c@[]>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 5:52 PM +0100 2/21/00, Greg FitzPatrick wrote:
>"We (a working group of 7 technicians from the WAP FORUM Telematics Expert
>Group) tried it (RDF).  We tried like hell for over a week's time and we
>never got it. Sure we could put some things together with nodes and arcs,
>but after that we had no idea where to go.  We downloaded every thing we
>could find, only to become more confused."

I had the same experience. After reading the spec the first time, I 
had no clue what it was trying to do. I thought "this is way too 
complicated for my application".

The basic problem with the spec is that is assumes that the reader 
understands what reification is, and is generally conversant with the 
deep issues of knowledge representation.  Anyway, after working a 
couple of months on my metadata problem, I happened to come back to 
RDF, and with my hands-on experience, I finally "got" what RDF was 
about, saw the elegance, and ended up using it. But if I'd never 
learned about 2nd quantization in grad school, I probably would have 
missed it.

The RDF spec does a poor job of motivating itself. Many people have 
problems for which RDF is an appropriate solution; they have no way 
to see how RDF addresses their problems.

Anyone who has listened to 4-year old talk about Pokemons can 
perceive that the human mind deals naturally with RDF-like models. 
The mind avoids reification like the plague, however, and a really 
strong case for it must be made to win over the practical 


Eric Hellman
Openly Informatics, Inc.
http://www.openly.com/           21st Century Information Infrastructure
LinkBaton: Your Shortcuts to Information  http://linkbaton.com/
Received on Thursday, 24 February 2000 13:17:58 UTC

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