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RE: Why Triples? (was Re: What do the ontologists want)

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 16:18:34 -0500
Message-Id: <v04210141b72c92587f83@[205.160.76.183]>
To: "Ziv Hellman" <ziv@unicorn.com>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>But if the Semantic Web is going to be useful to both people and 
>machines, and not just machine-readable protocol, then aesthetics 
>are going to play a role whether you like it or not. Make two tools 
>available for the people, one taking aesthetics into account and the 
>other not, it seems bloody more likely that the crowd will gravitate 
>towards the aesthetic one. Remember, the Semantic Web is eventually 
>going to have to play to sell-out crowds if it is going to fly.

Sure, I agree. But the reaction one gets is that it will always be 
possible to use human-oriented browsers/editors that let people see 
things in pretty forms, and under the hood it can all be put into a 
'normal' form. (Eg check out Jonathan Borden's recent replies to me 
on this thread.) I'm not agreeing, just telling you how the arguments 
go. So one needs to make a case for the 'normal form' being more 
efficient, or something, rather than just an aesthetic case. And 
until one gets right down to actual inference-finding, the 
disadvantages of the binary reduction are only linear. Linear is 
nothing these days.

Pat Hayes

>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: pat hayes [mailto:phayes@ai.uwf.edu]
>Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2001 6:30 AM
>To: Ziv Hellman
>Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>Subject: RE: What do the ontologists want
>
>Jim Hendler declared at the beginning of the DAML work that 'purely 
>aesthetic' arguments would not be permitted to influence the design 
>of the language, which applied in this context is a pre-emptive 
>strike against any arguments based on the observations you produce. 
>The fact that the entire world of mathematics, logic, and database 
>engineering has chosen to use relations freely, is in the end only 
>an aesthetic argument. It is *possible* to get used to the ugliness, 
>inefficiency and style-cramping awkwardness that a purely binary 
>language imposes, rather in the way that it is possible to get used 
>to midwestern cooking. Transmission speeds are so fast, and memory 
>so cheap, that any linear losses in information density do not have 
>any really nasty economic consequences; so I have decided to let the 
>clowns win this particular battle. If people wish to automatically 
>translate an efficient notation into an inefficient one, just let 
>them do it. Microsoft will do it anyway, whatever we decide.
>
>
>I personally will continue to use relational languages in my own 
>ontology work (in fact, KIF allows for variably polyadic relations, 
>which can take any number of arguments, a distinct expressive 
>advantage which makes many axiomatizations wonderfully compact: 
>kudos to Mike Genesereth for thinking of it) but I doubt if the 
>Semantic Web will.
>
>
>Best wishes
>
>
>Pat Hayes
>
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IHMC					(850)434 8903   home
40 South Alcaniz St.			(850)202 4416   office
Pensacola,  FL 32501			(850)202 4440   fax
phayes@ai.uwf.edu 
http://www.coginst.uwf.edu/~phayes
Received on Saturday, 19 May 2001 17:18:31 UTC

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