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Aßmann, Uwe; Berger, Sacha; Bry, François; Henriksson, Jakob; Pătrânjan, Paula-Lavinia (2007): A Generic Module System forWeb Rule Languages: Divide and Rule. International Symposium, RuleML 2007, 25. - 26.. Oktober 2007, Orlando, Florida, USA.




An essential feature in practically usable programming languages is the ability to encapsulate functionality in reusable modules. Modules make large scale projects tractable by humans. For Web and Semantic Web programming, many rule-based languages, e.g. XSLT, CSS, Xcerpt, SWRL, SPARQL, and RIF Core, have evolved or are currently evolving. Rules are easy to comprehend and specify, even for non-technical users, e.g. business managers, hence easing the contributions to the Web. Unfortunately, those contributions are arguably doomed to exist in isolation as most rule languages are conceived without modularity, hence without an easy mechanism for integration and reuse. In this paper a generic module system applicable to many rule languages is presented. We demonstrate and apply our generic module system to a Datalog-like rule language, close in spirit to RIF Core. The language is gently introduced along the EU-Rent use case. Using the Reuseware Composition Framework, the module system for a concrete language can be achieved almost for free, if it adheres to the formal notions introduced in this paper.