Re: Validating daml+oil-ex.daml

From: Frank van Harmelen (
Date: 11/01/01

I think this whole discussion on "levels of compliance/validation" is extremely useful/important, however:

I'm a bit surprised about the strong opinions various people have. I am convinced that doing all this stuff on the Web will be very, very different from doing any of this in a more traditional KB setting. (see my slides during the IJCAI panel, on "Semantic Web research challenges to KR"). 

For example, one of the big attitude changes between old-style hypertext and new-style Web in the early 90's was the treatment of broken links. The fact that the Web doesn't crash on a broken link is a feature, not a bug. It was one of the main reasons that allowed such fast and stable growth. 

An undefined class is the equivalent of a "broken link" in DAML+OIL. Similar to the move from old-style hypertext to web, I think our attitude to this "problem" will (have to) change when moving from old-style KB to semantic web. 

I don't claim to know what the best attitude is, simply that I'm very suspicious of using old intuitions/experiences on this new problem. Perhaps defining different levels of "compliance" is the best we can do, and then wait to see how things turn out in the wash. I would be opposed to claiming we already know which compliance levels will be good, required, useful, etc. 


(I know, in some of this I'm beginning to sound just like Jim Hendler.
 I leave it to you to decide if that's a feature or a bug :-)

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