The TopQuadrant blog recently compared Spin with RIF. According to the post, “Since SPIN (SPARQL Inferencing Notation) aka SPARQL Rules became W3C
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,we find ourselves responding to the growing interest to it. With this, a question some may ask is how SPIN is different from or similar to RIF – W3C’s standard for rules interchange. While I have heard this asked a couple of times, I was pleasantly surprised that it was is not a very common question. Pleasantly, because a certain level of confusion is to be expected about new things and, both, SPIN and RIF are relatively new. If so few people ask this question, then SPIN specification did a good job explaining and positioning it and people easily grasp the unique and important needs it serves. Still, I thought it was worthwhile to write up my thoughts on comparing SPIN with RIF.”

It continues, “The goal of RIF was to create an interchange format for use between rules engines. As such, unlike SPIN, RIF is not an idea that is specifically or particularly aligned with RDF. This is why RIF was created as XML (although there is now work on RDF serialization). I am not pointing this out as a shortcoming of RIF, but rather to put in perspective the origin and the reason for RIF. In its goals, RIF is similar to OMG’s XMI which also uses XML and was created to be an interchange format between different tools. Given this similarity, XMI’s failure in being a reliable interchange format becomes relevant when considering RIF’s future. Will RIF succeed in reaching its goal? One can easily argue that with the variety of available rules languages and engines, RIF’s job is harder than what XMI needed to do to succeed.”

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