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RE: What do the ontologists want

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 06:47:43 -0400
To: chas@munat.com
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010516064743Y.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>
Subject: RE: What do the ontologists want
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 15:01:47 -0700

> This discussion seems to be devolving into yet another impasse. I suggest
> that we all back up a bit.
> Instead of going round again about reification, why don't we start by coming
> up with a comprehensive list of everything we want to be able to say/do in
> RDF. Perhaps someone is willing to establish a simple web page to collect
> all the ideas. Then we can organize them into some logical order.
> Once we have them in order, we can decide which ones have already been
> accomplished, which ones everyone agrees are doable, and which ones appear
> insurmountable. Then maybe we can get that basic RDF together and have
> something workable while argument continues on the difficult areas like
> reification.
> Otherwise, (speaking as more of an observer than a participant) we seem to
> be spinning our wheels and going nowhere. And while we're here smoking the
> tires someone else is going to come along (or already has) and invent
> something halfway workable and we'll be left behind in the dust and smoke.
> (Have I sufficiently beaten that metaphor to death?)
> Sincerely,
> Charles F. Munat
> Seattle, Washington

I don't believe that this approach will solve the disagreement between
those of us who what to know what various constructs that are already in
RDF really mean that those of us who are using these constructs for various

The basic complaint of the first group is that people in the second group
are going beyond what RDF is capable of.  People in the second group use
the reification syntax, but have some extra meaning for it that is not
shared by all interested in RDF.  It is the contention of the first group
that the use of these extra meanings make RDF no longer be a true
representation language, and thus ill suited for representing information
in the WWW.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Wednesday, 16 May 2001 06:47:48 UTC

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