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Re: [Fwd: RDFCore 2nd last call announcement]

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 12:48:30 -0400
Message-ID: <3F96B4DE.3050909@acm.org>
To: "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>
Cc: 'Brian McBride' <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Hammond, Tony (ELSLON) wrote:

> Hi Frank:
>>Finally, there was a question about "whether the Primer actually cares 
>>if the applications it discusses are generally useful".  I'm not 
>>entirely sure how to interpret this comment.  Part of the process for 
>>deciding what went in there was based simply on who was willing to 
>>contribute.  More generally, it was hoped that the applications (which 
>>are often rather domain-specific) that were described would suggest 
>>ideas to people about how they might use RDF in other domains.
> I should clarify that I did not in any way intend "useful" to refer to one
> schema being better than another, just that there be a schema, so that the
> RDF classes and properties could be married to a URI architecture (schema or
> ontology, if you will), whether RDFS or OWL - otherwise just looks like
> plain XML to me. (Except of course that the XML elements can then be
> variously differentiated by category - class and property - based on the RDF
> data model.) Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.


Thanks for the clarification.  But I think I'd also take issue with what 
seems to be your assumption that for an application to be "useful" it 
must have an RDFS (or OWL) schema.  People who use RDF in their 
applications certainly need to understand what they mean by the terms 
they use (for the subjects, predicates, and objects) in the triples. 
However, I can imagine "useful" RDF applications not having RDFS or OWL 
schemas defining these things.  Suppose, for example, that the source of 
the RDF is a database table for which there is row and column metadata 
already, and the target is another similar table;  the RDF is just the 
exchange mechanism, and the definitions, while in existence, aren't 
redefined in RDF.  Or suppose that the "schema" information is otherwise 
built into the source and target processing software (based, say, on UML 
conceptual models used to describe, or even generate, the software). 
The point isn't that such applications might not be *more* "useful" with 
RDFS or OWL schemas;  the point is that the lack of such schemas does 
not automatically render such applications *not* useful (at least, in my 
opinion, and presumably in the opinion of anyone designing and using 
such applications).


Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 12:21:48 UTC

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