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Re: [ontolog-forum] Data & Relations

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 09:33:24 -0400
Message-id: <51A8A6A4.2060107@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 5/31/2013 7:28 AM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> Blank nodes and statement reification are powerful concepts that have
> been maligned (in the RDF realm) due to poor understanding their utility
> etc..    (01)

That is one of my complaints about RDF.  It is closely related to
the complaints by Tim Bray, who worked with Guha to define RDF, and
by Pat Hayes, who worked with Guha to define the semantics of RDF in
a way that is compatible with Common Logic:    (02)

  1. The hackers took over RDF, ignored its logical foundations,
     and stuffed anything they could think of into the nooks and
     crannies of the angle brackets.    (03)

  2. As a result, all attempts to teach RDF spread more ignorance
     than enlightenment.    (04)

> I tend to use the function of the pronoun (noun and noun phrase substitution)
> in natural language grammar to exemplify the blank node function.    (05)

My recommendation is to treat RDF like assembly language.  Nobody
should ever use it except system programmers who develop compilers
from high-level languages that compile into RDF.  When you do that,
nobody but compiler writers would ever see the blank nodes.    (06)

By high-level languages, I do *not* mean N3 and Turtle -- or even
SPARQL.  As an example of a logic-based HLL for databases, I suggest
Datalog, which can be used as a query language for relational or graph
DBs with equal facility.  Datalog can also state constraints, views,
and rules and perform inferences from them.    (07)

But I would recommend even higher-level languages than Datalog.
There was excellent R & D by both the DB and the AI communities
from the 1980s to 2000.  Tim B-L's DAML proposal for the Semantic
Web in Feb 2000 took into account a very large fraction of that
research.  But only a tiny amount made it into the final DAML
report of 2005 -- just OWL and SPARQL.    (08)

You can't expect a five-year project to do everything. But 8 years
have gone by, and the research has stagnated.  They haven't even
looked at their original charter (Tim's 2000 proposal) to see what
they failed to implement.  It's pitiful.    (09)

John    (010)

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