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   Re: "RDF + Topic Maps" = The Future

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  • From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
  • To: Jonathan Borden <jborden@mediaone.net>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 23:22:01 -0700 (MST)

> >Topic Maps state
> > which sets of resources share a single characteristic. They also has the
> > advantage of being able to characterize characteristics (using scopes and
> > associations).
>     Again the RDF concept which is equivalent to a 'set of resources' is a
> collection. Think of RDF as an assembly language for higher level constructs

Euge!  Bravissimo!  This, I think nails it.  "RDF is as an assembly
language for higher-level constructs".  I have never seen RDF as
limited to the processing model directly suggested by the M&S spec.  I am
used to building higher-level constructs on RDF.  I've pretty much spent
Y2K doing this (as, judging from my observations, you have as well).
That's why I think a lot of the RDF vs. XTM fuss seems to be based on
incomplete understanding of either technology.

> > Both RDF and Topic Maps have the same weakness: They are only as good as
> the
> > semantics they are based on. Neither provides a standardized mechanism for
> > recording the meaning of the characteristic
> >
>     Such a mechanism for recording the meaning of characteristics is termed
> an "ontology". This is one of the primary benefits of RDF, RDF Schemas being
> fundamentally a language for creating ontologies. DAML-ONT is an extension
> of RDFS. A list of such ontologies is available at:
> http://www.daml.org/ontologies/ontologies.html

Hmm.  I'm not sure I buy this.  I see RDF Schemas as no more than an arc
constraint mechanism.  I don;t think this is quite enough to create
an "ontoloty".  Of course I know that ontologoes can be built upon RDF,
but I think it requires _much_ more specialized processing layered on top
of RDF and RDF Schemas.

Maybe this doen't contradict what you say...

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python


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