Re: do you know of (Fritz Lehmann)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 95 18:58:48 CDT
From: (Fritz Lehmann)
Message-id: <>
To: genesereth@cs.Stanford.EDU
Subject: Re:  do you know of
Precedence: bulk
     Mike Genesereth replied to my comment re KIF:
----begin quote-----
>     Sorry, I do not know of any other citations on the meta-level capabilities
>of KIF.  Recently KIF has been cut down closer to FOL; I think the latest
>KIF-only standard might not allow even weakly higher-order relations (?).
>My impression from the public non-responsiveness to outsiders'
>critical comment on KIF is A. The real discussions of KIF take place on
>a private, "inner circle" KIF mailing list, and B. Public criticism/feedback
>on KIF is regarded as being an attack in a competitive environment,
>and is thus not always totally appreciated.  I am pro-KIF and intend to
>use it along with Conceptual Graphs, but the KIF "administration" seems
Well I cannot ignore that comment.  KIF is te subject of standard ANSI
practice.  It is subject to the discussion and vote of X3T2.  Anyone is
permotted to join.  (This is in contrast to the earlier management of KIF,
whic was under the control of an arpa-appointed committee.)  Furthermore,
the X3T2 ad hoc group working on KIF has decided to solicit feedback on all
decisions from teh general public.  This will take the form of (1)
publication of the starting doucment (as soon as Geneseret has a chance to
finish it) and (2) open discussion on the kif mailing list.
----end quote-----

     Mike, maybe I am out-of-date, but my comment was grounded in my 
own earlier experience.  When you invited me to be on the committee (a
couple of months ago) I  said I couldn't attend meetings, but would
be happy to be on the email mailing list.  Since then I have not received
a single message from that list.  Back when KIF was under DARPA/ARPA
I remember that all kinds of serious issues were raised about
KIF and you, though you were the primary author and promulgator, were
very conspicuously silent.  When Bob McGregor, Pat Hayes, John Sowa and
I were vigorously raising and discussing those issues (and Matt Ginsberg too),
I kept expecting you to deliver some sort of authoritative response.  You
didn't.  On the higher-order logic issue I raised, after _tons_ of 
controversy you responded only with a terse "what is the problem?" private
email note.  (If you have ever responded to that issue on
in the last year, I must have missed it.)  Pat Hayes, John Sowa and Chris
Menzel elaborated technical first-orderism at great length; the KIF author
said little or nothing.  Only Tom Gruber in your group was responsive at all.
I was not the only person who noticed this, and those who have followed these
lists can remember what the pattern of communication was.

     The interlingua mailing list exists primarily to discuss the KIF
language, and disseminate information on KIF and Knowledge Sharing.  How
often have you posted KIF updates to that list in the last two years?
The last version of KIF that most people have is 3.0 which was published three
years ago, in June, 1992.  If a person wants to create an ontology in the
latest version of KIF, what should they use?  I know a lot of KIF has been
removed since 1992.

     This may be a good time to ask: 1. Who is on the KIF committee and
Working Group, and what is the schedule for adoption and comment?  In
particular, what happened to the relationship between KIF and the
CSMF (Conceptual Schema Modelling Facility) standard?

     2. What was done about typed predicates and relations?

     3. Contexts?

     4. Higher-order (weakly or strongly)?  Is arbitrary quantification
over kappa-constructs still part of KIF?

     5.  Non necessary-and-sufficient "definitions"?

     I ask these as "public" questions on,, and  If you can repost this message
(and any answer) to any other "KIF list" and the committee members, please

     Two minor points: I had said "My impression ... is A. The real discussions
 of KIF take place on a private, "inner circle" KIF mailing list,"  Has there
been no "inner" distribution list for technical discussions?  Also, you wrote:
"Well I cannot ignore that comment."  I support the policy of not ignoring
comments when trying to get a standard enacted.  I realize that you are very
busy with many other important projects, BUT ....

                          Yours truly,   Fritz Lehmann
GRANDAI Software, 4282 Sandburg Way, Irvine, CA 92715, U.S.A.
Tel:(714)-733-0566  Fax:(714)-733-0506