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A. Soroka
The University of Virginia Library

On Nov 6, 2014, at 10:33 PM, Thomas Baker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Once a class is declared to have an rdfs:subClassOf relation to another class, that declaration becomes part of the formal semantics of the class.  Once a property is related to a class through rdfs:domain and rdfs:range, that declaration becomes part of the formal semantics of the property.

It's not clear to me what you mean by "the formal semantics". There is not a single formal semantics for a set of triples. There are the various semantics under RDF, RDFS, OWL, etc., which are compatible by design, but are _certainly distinct_.

> Whether membership of an instance in a domain or range class is _asserted_ in a given dataset, or _inferred_, is purely a practical question having to do with things like "expense," "response time", or as Simeon points out, whether it "make[s] the data easy and efficient to use" or provides "clarity of intent" to someone trying to grok the Turtle data. 

To label something "purely a practical question" is very far from dismissing it, if we expect to do anything with Linked Data other than talk about it.

>  Simply leaving a formal-semantic relationship unasserted, to be clear, has no affect on formal semantics.  

I'm afraid I don't understand this statement. What do you mean by a "formal-semantic relationship"?

> I do not understand the point of coining lots of new classes for the BIBFRAME vocabulary.  An RDF vocabulary cannot itself provide ways to prevent "multiple, incompatible ways" of using the vocabulary, which I take to be Rob's objective.  If data consistency, clarity of intent (for humans), and efficiency of processing are indeed the objectives, I do not understand why the discussion here is about trying to do this in BIBFRAME's RDF vocabulary, which does not provide the language for exerting such control.

This is not at all, to my understanding, a matter of control. It is a matter of providing a flexible and easy-to-use means of extension. The idea is not at all, to my understanding, to "to prevent 'multiple, incompatible ways' of using the vocabulary", it is to provide a straightforward and simple way of extending the vocabulary. That is a far more powerful and lasting effect.