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

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> 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.  So 
> >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 triggered 
> Uche's scorn) was that I had seen RDF through the lens provided by the rdf-logic 
> effort and the Semantic Web vision, that is, as a way to define axiomatic systems 
> on which machines will make interesting logical inferences about resources on 
> the web.

I just want to point out that my scorn was triggered by your scorn.  You and I 
have had many reasonable discussions about RDF off-list, so I was very 
surprised to see a display of what I considered bear-baiting from you.  I'd 
responded to many of your points, but your on-list comment sounded as if you 
hadn't heard a word I'd said.  I don't expect you to have agreed with me, but 
your lack of even acknowledgement of the counter-arguments to your position 
made me conclude you were trolling.

I'm not convinced I was wrong.

[Snip stuff on article that represents one POV of RDF's promise.  I've 
repeatedly said that I represent a very different POV.]

> Not to mention the fact that few (e.g. the 
> RSS users) want to pay the RDF tax, given its XML serialization that seems to 
> have no friends at all except the RDF working group charter :-)

Well, DOM doesn't seem to have any friends, either, yet it is an important 
standard as a benchmark against which improvements can be measured.

In my view the RDF/XML syntax is no more evidence against RDF than the DOM is 
against XML.

> 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 (e.g. 
> "<street>, <rue>, and <strasse> can be considered synonymous in an <address> 
> context"), and those who use it as sortof an unstructured database for knowledge 
> management applications. If one thinks of RDF queries as following chains of
> "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 subject-verb-object
> structure common to most [all?] natural languages, then maybe some
> interesting things can happen.

I mentioned many heuristics.  My point, which you may have missed, is that RDF 
is separate from the reasonings of RDF agents.  Similarly, XML is separate 
from the operation of XSLT.  Given RDF, one can devise an agent that meets the 
eminent needs.

> I'm still unpersuaded that very many HAVE happened.  We can all "refute" the 
> claim that our favorite technology is an "academic oddity" by reference to 
> a handful of proofs-of-concepts along with the assertion that this is the
> tip of the iceberg or the start of something big.  (My favorite "academic
> oddity" Next Big Thing candidate at the moment is Linda / tuple spaces / 
> XML spaces ... it would be an interesting exercise to see if I could 
> come up with as many success stories for this as an RDF stakeholder 
> could for RDF ... <grin> ).  

Go ahead and wrack your brain for Linda deployments.  I'm not jumping into 
that mud wrassling pit with you.  Another fundamental point of mine is that 
RDF works for me, and is a good bulwark in the business which is my primary 
interest.  I have no need to tally points against skeptics just for the the 
shine of the numbers.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com
Python&XML column: 2. Introducing PyXML - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/09/25/p
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 1 - http://www.webservices.org/ind
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 2 - 'http://www.webservices.org/in
Serenity through markup - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6807
Tip: Using generators for XML processing - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork


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