updated Requirements

From: Mike Dean (mdean@bbn.com)
Date: 07/29/03

  • Next message: Mike Dean: "Joint Committee telecon today 29 July"
    I started to update [1] to include the candidate objectives
    listed in [2], imports, and modules, but fear that it might
    obscure what I consider to be the main issue currently
    facing us.
    Over the last few months, it's become apparent that there
    have been 2 different objectives within the membership of
    the Joint Committee:
      extending Semantic Web ontology languages with rules
      developing a rule language that can work with the Semantic
    An ideal solution would meet both sets of objectives with a
    minimum of mechanism.  We're not quickly converging on such
    a solution.
    The Joint Committee operates independently, but many of us
    have a responsibility to the DAML program.  To help achieve
    the programmatic and technical objectives of the DAML
    program, I think the major responsibility for those folks is
    to keep progressing up the Semantic Web stack in a way as
    compatible with the underlying layers (XML, RDF, and OWL) as
    possible.  I think this is also the approach most likely to
    gain acceptance in the larger Semantic Web community.
    I think many of the issues currently being addressed by
    RuleML are ahead of what the larger Semantic Web community
    is ready to accept.  RuleML 0.7 provided most of the
    facilities we're likely to need in an initial phase (I also
    think we'll need simple built-ins such as arithmetic
    functions).  Features such as support for n-ary relations
    (motivating a roled syntax), support for ordered and
    unordered atoms, and complex mappings to URIs detract from
    the goal of a simple rule extension for ontologies.  I
    realize that a lot of work has been invested in these
    A simple syntax supporting only binary relations would also
    be more compatible with DQL.
    I'd like to discuss this during today's telecon.  A few
    specific questions:
    1) Do others share this view?
    2) Are the folks that have been working the most on rules
    willing to defer even more of their work past phase 1?
    Phase 1 might also identify a long list of "postponed"
    issues with possible solutions.
    [1] http://www.isi.edu/~stefan/rules/20030325/
    [2] http://www.daml.org/listarchive/joint-committee/1390.html

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