I think I vote "no" on question 1, but I'm not sure I understand the issue. There are cases when choosing between using relations and attributes is ambiguous, but there are cases where it's not ambiguous at all. In a wiki about cities, for instance, a field like "neighboring city" would very clearly be a relation, while a field like "population" would very clearly be an attribute. There will be cases when it's difficult to decide (is "mayor" going to be a relation or attribute?) My rule of thumb is, if there's a chance people are going to stick in more information about a field, go with a relation. So the safe thing would be to make "mayor" a relation, on the chance that people will want to include semantic information about, say, Petra Roth; but putting in more information about "population 2 million" doesn't even make sense. I think seeing all those red links on every population figure would confuse users; essentially you're creating links that no one should ever click on.

...or maybe I'm not understanding the question; if so, could you please clarify?


On 3/16/07, Markus Krötzsch < mak@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de> wrote:
Hello SMW users!

Please take a few minutes to decide upon the future of SMW syntax. Short
answers suffice.


Our increasing impression is that the distinction between Relations and
Attributes in SMW is no longer the best solution. It was useful when ":="
still behaved mostly different from "::", but it seems that the growing
number of types of attributes might as well include a type "wikipage" that
makes them act like relations. This could simplify wiki syntax as well as
explaining SMW to new users.

So, dear SMW users, what do you think?

(1) Should we merge Relations with Attributes by providing a new datatype, and
by treating untyped attributes as relations by default (instead of rejecting
them as done now)? Why?/Why not?

(2) If only one remains, should we rather use the syntax "::" or ":=" for
annotations? The syntax ":=" suggests a way of writing inverse relations in
queries via "=:", but maybe this is not obvious enough to be a good idea.
Which syntax looks more user-friendly in general?

(3) Should we call the remaining semantic elements "Relations"
or "Attributes"?

(4) How would the type "wikipage" that is used for emulating relations be
called? "Article", "Page", "Wikipage", "Link", ...?

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.



Markus Krötzsch
Institute AIFB, University of Karlsruhe, D-76128 Karlsruhe
mak@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de         phone +49 (0)721 608 7362
www.aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de/WBS/     fax +49 (0)721 693  717

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