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Re: Example for consideration: Resource versus Representation

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 17:31:13 +0000
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Cc: public-awwsw@w3.org
Message-ID: <f5bmyqwzbxa.fsf@hildegard.inf.ed.ac.uk>

Hash: SHA1

I'm not capable of fully disentangling this, particularly as I wasn't
on the call, but can I remind/inform us of an analogy I have drawn
before: awww:resource is like philOfLang:referent -- it's _not_ a
one-place predicate.  I used to complain that saying "whatever might
be identified by a URI" was useless, because it meant that knowing
that something was an awww:resource==rfc3986:resource carried no

But consider 'referent'.  Saying "The Eiffel Tower can be a referent"
is true, but relatively unhelpful.  _Anything_ can be a referent.  But
what that means is, the _range_ of the 'refer' _relation_ is
in principle unconstrained, and we use 'referent' to name that
range in practice.  It follows that being a referent is never an
_intrinsic_ property of anything.

Similarly, I think, for 'resource'.  awww:resource is the name for the
range of awww:identify.  It's best used either wrt potential, in which
case we answer 'yes' to all questions of the form "Could xxx be an
awww:resource?", or concretely, as in "what resource is identified by
the URI yyy?".  It would have been clearer if the linguistic form
allowed us to make the parallel more exact -- we ask "What is the
referent of 'Roy'?", but English doesn't allow us to ask "What is the
resource of 'http://www.w3.org/'?"

Hope this helps,

- -- 
 Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
                     Half-time member of W3C Team
    2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
            Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                   URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 17:34:04 UTC

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