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RIF should be usable as the basis for a semantic web rule language

Full Statement


It is an explicit goal of the WG that RIF should form a useful basis for a core semantic web rule language (or small number of such).

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Various semantic web applications need/want rules (usages include includes translation between ontologies, information integration, higher level KR). There are a large number of in-use or proposed semantic web rule languages (CWM, Euler, WRL, SWRL, SWSL, JenaRules etc). The trouble is there are many. It would help the semantic web community if someone could bring order to this, to identify one or a small number of "standardised" rule languages for doing the common tasks. Note this is not exclusive, there will always be scope for new languages with additional features.

The question is: how much will RIF help with this?

At the moment at least some of the semantic web community implicitly expect RIF to define a semantic web rule language. We need to set appropriate expectations.


We already require (well CSF) semantic web compatibility for RIF. However, RIF permits a huge range of language semantics to be exchanged and arguably is required to represent all of the above languages anyway. That does not, in itself, provide any useful interoperability between them.

To achieve interoperability we need one, or some small number of, recommended semantics that we believe is compatible with, and useful for, the semantic web.

By saying 'basis for ...' then we allow RIF to, for example, omit a human usable syntax. We also allow the possibility that the recommended profile is an informative rather than normative part of the spec. For example, it might be a suggested RIF profile defined in the "Recommendation on using this rule interchange format in combination with OWL" deliverable.

However, by including this goal we would set an expectation that the RIF deliverables will be a significant step towards standardization of semantic web rule languages.


RIF without that is of limited use for me


DaveReynolds EvanWallace JosDeBruijn MichaelSintek JosDeRoo IgorMozetic LeoraMorgenstern StellaMitchell MinsuJang