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RE: Surface vs. Abstract Syntax, was: RE: What do the ontologists want

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 13:12:27 +0100
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20010521130705.041436d0@joy.songbird.com>
To: "Jonathan Borden" <jborden@mediaone.net>
Cc: "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
At 09:47 PM 5/18/01 -0400, Jonathan Borden wrote:
>perhaps the greatest benefit of XML is that its surface syntax directly
>represents its abstract syntax, and for someone familiar with XML, this
>means that one can look at a document, even in the absense of a schema, and
>get a pretty good idea of its structure.

Hmmm... I was speaking with an old friend over the weekend, and touched 
upon this general topic.  He made an observation (which I may relay 
imperfectly) to the effect that one difficulty encountered by much early AI 
research could to traced to the idea that giving something a meaningful 
name could not be equated with giving it a meaning.  This struck me as 
similar to some of the things Pat has said about semantics of RDF (or any 
language).

Turning to XML:  I don't think the structure of a typical XML document 
would be anything like as clear if the tag/attribute names were replaced by 
random strings.

#g


------------
Graham Klyne
GK@NineByNine.org
Received on Monday, 21 May 2001 11:34:24 UTC

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