W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > May 2001

Re: What do the ontologists want

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 14:02:07 -0500
Message-Id: <v04210104b729ce3b209f@[]>
To: Jim Hendler <jhendler@darpa.mil>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>>or representing information
>>  in the WWW.
>>For the record, since Pat Hayes seems to playing Don Quixote all by
>>himself in this discussion, let me say that I agree with about 95% of
>>what he says, and Peter probably does too.  The only reason we haven't
>>jumped in earlier is that we have said it all before.
>>I do think we owe the group a concrete proposal for fixing RDF/DAML.
>>I made such a proposal
>>and am now rethinking it.  The most urgent change is to get rid of the
>>triples idea; then most of the pressure for reification will vanish.
>>                                            -- Drew McDermott
>Let's be clear that Drew doesn't speak for all us ontologists when 
>he recommends getting rid of the triples - some of us (me included) 
>think that it is very useful to be based on RDF and triples rather 
>than inventing something new just for the sake of doing so...

I think we need to try to avoid usages like 'getting rid of' and 
'based on', which have a large ratio of emotional impact to 
substantive content. In a sense it is impossible to get rid of 
triples, since most anything could be implemented using triples, and 
why would anyone want to deprive anyone else of the privilege of 
implementing their data in the way that suits them best? It would be 
like getting rid of TCP packets. Like I say, in a sense; I suspect 
that isn't the sense Drew had in mind, but I think it is the sense 
that many defenders of universal triplitude have in mind. On the 
other hand, also in a sense, basing a representational language upon 
triples at the syntactic (not implementation) level is a really bad 
idea, for very sharp technical reasons (eg you can't represent 
syntactic scope); and I bet that isnt what Jim had in mind by 'based 
on', but it is what many of us who get apoplectic at the idea have 
been understanding it to mean, I think.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Thursday, 17 May 2001 15:02:14 UTC

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