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The RIF Framework for Logic-based Dialects (RIF-FLD) is a formalism for specifying all logic-based dialects of RIF, including RIF-BLD. It is a logic in which both syntax and semantics are described through a number of mechanisms that are commonly used for various logic languages, but are rarely brought all together. RIF-BLD gives precise definitions to these mechanisms, but leaves some concrete details out. Each dialect that is based on RIF-FLD is expected to specialize these general mechanisms (even leave out some elements of RIF-FLD) to produce its concrete syntax and model-theoretic semantics.

This document is intended for the designers of future RIF dialects. The reader who is interested in using a particular dialect, such as RIF-BLD, or in implementing such a dialect can go directly to the description of the dialect in question.

RIF-FLD has the following main components:

The framework described in this document is very general, and it captures most of the popular logic-based languages found in Databases, Logic Programming, and on the Semantic Web. However, it is expected that the needs of some newly developed dialects may stimulate further evolution of RIF-FLD.

Syntactic framework. The syntactic framework defines three main classes of RIF terms:

RIF dialects can choose to support all or some of the aforesaid categories of terms. The syntactic framework also defines the following mechanisms for specializing these terms:

Semantic framework. This framework defines the notion of a semantic structure or interpretation (both terms are used in the literature [Enderton01, Mendelson97], but here we will mostly use the first). Semantic structures are used to interpret RIF formulas and to define logical entailment. As with the syntax, this framework includes a number of mechanisms that RIF logic-based dialects can specialize to suit their needs. These mechanisms include:

XML serialization framework. This framework defines the general principles for serializing the various parts of the presentation syntax of RIF-FLD.