Some questions

Larry Watanabe LWatanab at
Thu Dec 2 14:51:31 GMT 1999

Eve Maler wrote
> Not that I don't respect RDF's power, but personally, I think the key *is*
> common vocabularies.  We may have to start small, and they may just be hub
> formats that get mapped to/from a lot, but agreeing on semantics is the 
> pill that has to be swallowed.  Even RDF depends on this, particularly on
> an open system such as the Web where you can't really control or influence

> the habits of content creators.  If you want to indicate that you are the 
> author of a certain page, at the very least you have to refer to a widely 
> understood "author" semantic in order for author-criterion searching to be

> of any use to your audience.  Whether it's an RDF property or a well-known
> namespace or whatever doesn't seem to matter as much.

	I agree; if someone chooses to define "author" to be what someone
else uses for
	"garage mechanic" then there is no advantage to common syntax. 
	Even assuming we rely on common English usages, there are multiple
	and arbitrary decisions in mapping English to logic (which RDF is a
disguised form of). 
	For example, suppose we want to represent "John loves Mary". 
	We could represent this as the triple

		{John, loves, Mary}

	or it could be represented as

		{person001, loves, person002}
		{person001, name, John}
		{person002, name, Mary}

	both correctly represent the statement in RDF triples. 

	It would be advantageous to have a common repository of
vocabularies, so that
	 people would agree on meanings and syntax (i.e. do we use love or
Loves or LUV} 
	and is the first person the lover or the lovee, etc. This would
serve a similar function 
	to a namespace declaration, but would deal with the semantics of the

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