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   Re: [xml-dev] RDF for unstructured databases, RDF for axiomatic systems

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Mike Champion wrote:

> 11/14/2002 4:20:30 PM, Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com> wrote:
> >
> >I should say that the project is proving a resounding success within Sun.
> >much for the idea that RDF is some academic oddity.
> I think I am beginning to grok the RDF world a little better. Perhaps
> the problem (at least the motivation for the assertions/questions that
> Uche's scorn) was that I had seen RDF through the lens provided by the
> effort and the Semantic Web vision, that is, as a way to define axiomatic
> on which machines will make interesting logical inferences about resources
> the web.  For example, in the TimBL et al Sci Am article:

Beware of getting too too afraid of "logical inferences", as this type of
math/formalism also underlies common and proven database technology i..e.

e.g. from the PostgresSQL tutorial:
in any case ...
> BUT perhaps I have been oblivious to the REAL users of RDF (and other
> semantic mapping technologies) who seem to use rough 'n ready ontologies
> "<street>, <rue>, and <strasse> can be considered synonymous in an
> context"), and those who use it as sortof an unstructured database for
> management applications. If one thinks of RDF queries as following chains
> "reasoning" that can ignore inconsistencies (I think Uche mentioned the
> heuristic of using the first assertion) rather than as rigorous proofs
> in a logico-deductive system, exploiting RDF's recursive
> structure common to most [all?] natural languages, then maybe some
> interesting things can happen.

what do you think of http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-guide in particular
http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-guide/#Usage ?

> Still, I wouldn't bet against a simplified RDF syntax
> (XML or otherwise) latching onto the "unstructured database" meme
> and growing into something Really Big.  That will end up
> looking about as much like the Semantic Web vision as the HTTP/HTML web
looks like
> Ted Nelson's vision ... But what the hell, nobody ever said that evolution
> favors the the most beautiful, only that it favors practical solutions to
> real problems.

TimBL's N3 is growing in popularity as a non-XML reworking of the RDF
syntax. Tim Bray's RPV could be turned into a straightforward XML version of
N3. It look like that is the way RDF is going -- I'd bet that the current
RDF/XML gets deprecated at some point.

Indeed you'll note that the OWL abstract syntax is mapped directly to RDF
N-triples (a lite version of N3) rather than to RDF/XML itself.
http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-absyn/mapping.html , there will be a non-RDF XML
presentation syntax for OWL based upon this abstract syntax.



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