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Re: [ontolog-forum] [uk-government-data-developers] OMG Issues RFP for L

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 09:21:58 -0500
Message-id: <4B2E3306.2050606@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Adrian,    (01)

I completely agree:    (02)

JFS>> The worst possible solution is to define a syntactic interchange
 >> method for systems whose semantics were independently defined.
 >> Unless and until somebody has proved that the semantic foundations
 >> are identical, one must assume that they are incompatible.    (03)

AW> Agreed.
 > I'd like to point out [1] that this is also a key issue for the
 > Rule Interchange Format (RIF) work at W3C.
 > [1]  http://www.w3.org/2004/12/rules-ws/paper/19    (04)

Yes.  But I would replace the term 'key issue' with 'fatal flaw'.    (05)

The reason why RIF is not just bad, but a total disaster, is that
it uses syntax to paper over fundamental differences in semantics.    (06)

Could you imagine somebody who uses Prolog (a backward-chaining
logic-programming language) that would interchange rules with
somebody who uses CLIPS (a forward-chaining expert-systems language)?    (07)

If they used RIF, their rules might look similar, but they would
not get remotely similar results.    (08)

Of course, the RIFers gloss over that fact with their own model-
theoretic semantics for RIF, but no operational rule systems use
their semantics.  So why bother?    (09)

Perhaps they thought that somebody might design a new rule system
based on their semantics.  But anybody who was smart enough to do
that would design a syntax that people would actually use.    (010)

John    (011)

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