ISSUE-29: Profiles in the RIF Core [NOT CP]


Profiles in the RIF Core [NOT CP]

Technical Design (multiple dialects/documents)
Raised by:
Deborah Nichols
Opened on:
Opened by Deborah Nichols [on behalf of RIF Chairs]

This issue concerns whether the use of profiles should be included in the
specification of the RIF CORE.

On 16 January 2007, Michael Kifer raised the issue of whether the RIF Core
should have profiles (i.e., a specification of \"optional features\"). This
leads to the question whether we should require that all dialects and all
compliant RIF languages support translation to/from all of the core.

Chris Welty’s summary of the telecon discussion from 16 January

“We then went on discussing the nature of the CORE. The discussion centered
on whether or not all languages were required to be able to translate
FROM \"all\" of the CORE to be conformant. Some continue to feel this is
unrealistic, however we lack examples that demonstrate it. Several expressed
support for a very limited notion of profiles for the CORE. Profiles would
specify features that we may consider ‘optional’ or that may determine the
degree of conformance of a translation. Examples of features in a possible
CORE profile were: recursion, decidability, complexity bounds, functions.

“There seemed to be consensus that there is one core dialect with the
expressivity of about Horn and that we should move forward with the
specification of that dialect, independently of other considerations. If
there is a notion of profiles it should be extremely restricted so that
the ‘CORE is still a core’. At the moment, we do not have any
specific \"features\" of the CORE that anyone has objected to, except possibly
recursive rules, so it is still not clear that we need profiles for the CORE.

“We discussed whether RIF dialects must include and extend the [entire] CORE.
The possibility of profiles opens the door for some dialects to eliminate
certain features (again, from a very restricted set). In other words,
profiles may allow some dialects to extend a subset of the CORE.

“There seemed to be consensus that the definition of the mandatory CORE must
be motivated by practical considerations, such as the difficulty to translate
particular feature to a particular rule language of practical importance.�?
Relevant email threads:

An early proposal advocating an ‘80%’ profile:

Discussion of RIF and conformance profiles:
The referenced KIF conformance profile:

See “Conformance Model�? on the list of slide topics/goals from F2F3:
Michael’s “anti-conformance profile�? argument:
Bijan’s response:
Michael’s distinction between “compliance�? and implementation:

Related issues: This issue is related to Issue # 28 concerning recursion,
because recursion was one of the features that was suggested to be made
specifiable in a profile.
Related Actions Items:
No related actions
Related emails:
  1. [RIF] draft minutes for 29 April 2008 telecon (from on 2008-04-29)
  2. irc log from F2F8 (from on 2007-11-08)

Related notes:

At 11.6 f2f WG decided that this will be dealt with as part of extensibility,
but has not been addressed yet.

6 Nov 2007, 00:00:00

In the BLD version of April, 2008, [ appendix] it lists possible subdialects of BLD. This section will be elided completely from BLD and possibly moved to FLD.

Christopher Welty, 2 May 2008, 13:41:28

At F2F11, the WG resolved not to have a profile mechanism for specifying sub-dialects of defined dialects. See

Christopher Welty, 27 Sep 2008, 13:27:28

At F2F11 the working group discussed the other half of this issue, ie "is CORE a CORE". The WG sentiment was that the CORE should be required by all RIF dialects, but that we don't know enough about the requirements of all future dialects to require it.

The WG resolved that "All RIF dialects *should* extend CORE", closing this issue. See

Christopher Welty, 27 Sep 2008, 13:47:51

Display change log ATOM feed

Chair, Staff Contact
Tracker: documentation, (configuration for this group), originally developed by Dean Jackson, is developed and maintained by the Systems Team <>.
$Id: 29.html,v 1.1 2013-02-08 09:09:34 vivien Exp $