Re: reifying variables

From: Sandro Hawke (
Date: 02/12/04

  • Next message: Peter F. Patel-Schneider: "Re: reifying variables"
    > From: Sandro Hawke <>
    > Subject: Re: reifying variables 
    > Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 08:08:30 -0500
    > > 
    > > > > So SWRL makes no claim to get it right, which is okay, but of course
    > > > > this means it's not really an "RDF Concrete Syntax", it's an "RDF-Like
    > > > > Concrete Syntax."   Not so good.
    > > > 
    > > > Well, this is probably the best that can be done.
    > > 
    > > In what way is it better to use an "RDF-Like" syntax?  That seems to
    > > me like the worst of both world -- all the syntactic beauty and
    > > convenience elegance of RDF/XML, plus all the standard-ness of the
    > > <blink> tag.
    > > 
    > >   -- sandro
    > Technically I don't see any reason to use an RDF syntax whatsoever.
    > However, using RDF syntax has appeared to be the price to enter the
    > Semantic Web arena.
    I understand Jim Hendler made it the price of admission to the DAML
    program, when he was Program Manager.  Beyond that, I'm not sure.  I
    think the W3C gives mixed signals, sometimes using n3 instead.  I've
    sometimes campaigned unsuccessfully for a standard meta-language, in
    which the syntax and semantics of practical data languages are
    In any case, using an "RDF-Like" syntax is using counterfeit money and
    I suspect is only accepted as the price of admission by mistake.  I
    apologize for not noticing and commenting on SWRL doing this back in
    > I would be much, much happier if the Semantic Web had multiple syntaxes.  I
    > have argued this in the past, to no avail, and have even written papers
    > proposing multiple-syntax versions of the Semantic Web.  I don't see any
    > technical reasons to not go to a multiple-syntax version of the Semantic
    > Web.
    You would agree there's a cost to each new language, right?  Having
    hundreds of languages isn't practical (unless some meta-language
    approach is used, but then there aren't really hundreds of languages).
    I've occasionally heard the observation that markets can generally
    support two standards.  In this case, RDF/XML sets a pretty low bar
    for the competition.  I think the RDF model itself is a pretty high
    bar, but time will tell.
        -- sandro

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