OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   FW: [xml-dev] ANN: White Paper - "Using OWL to Avoid SyntacticRig or Mo

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

Arg, why is it that xml-dev is the only mailing list that I use that
requires a "reply to all" to get a copy to the list?  Other lists seem to
work in the exact opposite fashion of xml-dev...  In any case, I just
privately sent to Simon the following:

Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com> responds:
> Peter.Hunsberger@stjude.org (Hunsberger, Peter) writes:
> >If you're not going to have semantics then why do you need syntax ?
> It's not a question of whether things will have semantics -
> even things supposedly without semantics tend to acquire 
> meaning.  It's a question of what kind of value you get from 
> standardizing semantics.

The question was somewhat rhetorical, but I am interested in this issue.
Unfortunately, I think you're ducking the issue a bit; doesn't syntax always
imply some level of standardized (common) semantics?  If not, why bother
with the syntax?  If you and I are going to communicate I think we'll get
further with muddled syntax than we will with muddled semantics?  (Having
very limited French and Spanish abilities I can attest that this has
certainly been the case in some of my travels).
> I see lots of value for standardizing a core syntax, and some
> value for standardizing some semantics.  I see negative 
> return on efforts to standardize semantics and semantic 
> mechanisms generally.
> (Locally, you're welcome to standardize all you want.)

Well, there's the issue; locally you have to standardize at least to the
extent that you and your direct partners agree on the semantics.  However,
with the Web it's never just local: when you exchange XML with someone you
are exchanging semantics with everyone your partner has ever exchanged
semantics with...  

(There's a long real life example of being forced into a complicated RDF
learning curve back in the days of prestandardized RDF lurking behind this
comment. Unfortunately, I suspect it is still covered by a NDA...)

> The subject line of this message, though, suggests pretty
> strongly that some folks see semantics as a way out of a 
> syntactic trap.  I believe those folks are fooling themselves at best.

Well that seems fair; having well defined semantics doesn't get you very far
with out a way to exchange them.  However, it seems to me that like it or
not, you've already committed to standardized semantics just by defining


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS