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Re: What do the ontologists want

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 07:23:58 -0400
To: connolly@w3.org
Cc: phayes@ai.uwf.edu, www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010517072358W.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Subject: Re: What do the ontologists want
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 22:22:53 -0500

> pat hayes wrote:
> > Not at all: I think you have put your finger right on the button. There
    is a mismatch between the reality and the rhetoric of RDF. As a
    general-purpose graph-structure-encoding formalism, it is just
    fine. (It has a truly awful surface syntax, but everyone agrees that is
    a crock and needs replacing.) But it hasnt been sold as that: it has
    been sold as a universal knowledge/information representation language,
    with a clear semantics which is both utterly simple (relational
    triples) and simultaneously universal, post-Goedelian, trans-Tarskian
    and magically universal, due to the Power of Reification. That is why
    it is going to be the, I don't know, the magical essence of the
    Semantic Web, and why W3C seems to be so committed to it.

> 
> Oh for cryin out loud, Pat, just cut it out. Exactly
> who is taking that position? Cite sources or retract it.
> 
> Yes, there has been some confusion, and yes, some folks
> are saying things about RDF that can't possibly be
> true, but I think folks are here to learn and
> build something useful. And insulting
> them/us by taking some things that they/we may have said
> exaggerating them to the ends of the earth isn't
> getting us anywhere, is it?

I think that Pat has precisely characterised the situation.  
There have been numerous posts on this group extolling the virtues of
reification.  Many times I think that I am listening to late-night
infomercial:

	Reification---it chops, it slices, it dices.  No language should be
	without it.  No language needs more than it.  Get yours now.  Easy
	payment terms of just endless hours of frustration from now to
	eternity.

	[Only partly in jest.]

> -- 
> Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
> 

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2001 07:25:49 UTC

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