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RDF query and Rules - my two cents

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 11:55:20 -0500
Message-Id: <p05200f12bbd6c249e22c@[]>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>, www-rdf-rules@w3.org
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Dan et al-
  Been thinking hard about this - here's my two cents:

1 - I think there is a clear and present need in the RDF community 
for a way to essentially request a set of triples from a remote store 
-- essentially an RDF remote access API.   We are already seeing many 
cases (including but not limited to RSS feeds) where the sharing is 
very powerful, and if we could do that more geenrally, it would help 
many projects.   As more RDF-based web portals grow, this ability 
becomes more important -- for example, I have some US computer 
scientists described on my web site in OWL, the AKT project in the UK 
has many British computer scientists described in OWL.  We cannot, 
hwoever, get information from each other's backend stores without 
negotiating our own protocols - and this makes it hard to get N-way 
  So this is an aspect of query which I will call "Remote Access" and 
I think we are ready for a WG on this.  Note that this would probably 
not be very exciting for logicians, DL fans, etc. because I would 
expect this to be simply a triples-exchange-mechanism over HTTP, not 
a real "query" langauge

2 - I think there is the possibility of creating a query group based 
on your charter, it would still need the above to exist to work, but 
would add some logical notions and possibly blur with rules.   I 
think that holding a workshop or two to try to tease apart these 
issues is needed - as evidenced by the discussion on this mailing 

3 - with due respect to the folks involved, I think the current Rules 
charter is way too broad, and a WG started in that area would thrash 
for a long time.  I think we need activity to determine how to limit 
such a charter to something doable, or find a more viable "de facto" 
standard to build from -- as far as I can see we dn't have a 
consensus in that area -- I would hope EU/DARPA/NSF or others might 
host a forum in which such a consensus could emerge - otherwise I 
would think the group would be aiming for something so ambitious that 
it might miss the short-term targets, without benefit of enough 
maturation to meet the long-term needs.

So I would propose:

i. W3C charter a "RDF Web Remote Access" WG in the near future - 
limited charter, short time-frame, get an API to rec.
ii. W3C sponsor a workshop on "Rules and Queries" in early 01 to 
explore the range of issues in these charters.  If there was 
consensus that a single WG could do these together then that would be 
a good possibility for a Wg to start in Fall.

Note that RDF Core and OWL will need to stay together for about 6 
months after PR to do debugging and maintenance, so that starting too 
many WGs immediately is likely to cause a real strain on the limited 
number of people we have.

so - Remote access now; Rules/Query workshops and some start in that 
space in the Fall, would be my proposal...

Professor James Hendler			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/users/hendler
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-277-3388 (Cell)
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 11:55:22 UTC

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