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Re: The Steven King Example

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 13:11:36 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: public-grddl-wg <public-grddl-wg@w3.org>

At 04:45 PM 11/24/2006 +0000, Ian Davis wrote:
>On 24/11/2006 16:20, Murray Maloney wrote:
>>Dan wrote a GRDDL result that is much more complex than I had hoped,
>>but he said that it was an accurate RDF representation of the triple:
>>         "Stephen King" "is author of" "The Stand".
>>I am totally willing to accept the proposition that Dan and I got it 
>>wrong. I would love
>>to see the example that gets it right, and I only hope that I will be 
>>able to follow it.
>I would suggest this:
><rdf:Description rdf:about="http://example.com/authors#king">
>   <ex:isAuthorOf rdf:resource="http://example.com/books#stand" />

Bzzzt. Sorry, wrong answer. Thanks for trying.

Those URIs tell me nothing. Actually, they tell me "Unable to Connect"
And what is the namespace "ex" and how do I find out the meaning of
the isAuthorOf property in that namespace?

>>This exercise has reinforced my intuition that the Semantic Web is even 
>>more prone
>>to misinterpretation than common English prose embedded within XHTML. My 
>>tells me that
>>         http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/stand/
>>is a web page which conveys the fact that "Stephen King" "is author of" 
>>"The Stand"
>The problem could be that your statement above conveys more information 
>than simply "Stephen King" "is author of" "The Stand".

Allow me to rephrase in somewhat more pedantic terms:

         There exists an information resource 
         from which I, a human being with reasonable grasp of the English 
         can easily deduce that there exists a novel entitled "The Stand" 
whose author
         is "Stephen King".

         I can also easily deduce that all URIs which begin with 
         are related to the self-same "Stephen King".

         I can further and easily deduce that 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King/ is also
         about the same "Stephen King"

>You're also saying that the page at the url you specify states the above 
>fact. That's the source of the additional complexity. You're stating facts 
>like (pseudo-rdf ahead):
>http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/stand/ "is a" "web page"

Well, an Information Resource in Web parlance, so I hope that we can treat 
that as
an already known fact. No extra complexity.

>http://www.stephenking.com/pages/works/stand/ "conveys fact" "the fact"

All Information Resources, by definition, contain information. No extra 
complexity there.

>"the fact" "has subject" "stephen king"
>"the fact" "has predicate" "is author of"
>"the fact" "has object" "The Stand"

On this much we agree. So why is it so hard to get the GRDDL WG, as a 
sample of the Semantic Web community, to agree on how you spell that 
triple? And why is
it even harder to have them agree on a consistent interpretation after the 
triple has been published?

Don't get me wrong. I am really hoping that y'all can answer these 
questions and help get me
to a place where I can read and write RDF well enough to be able to read 
and write simple and
straightforward examples. I am hoping that I can get to place where I can 
really see the merit
in using RDF to convey information. As it is, I find it easier to discover 
authors and titles
in HTML and DocBook than RDF/XML because I can follow my nose to a DTD or 
whose prose descriptions of elements/properties are far easier to grok than 
any RDF that
I have ever seen.


Received on Friday, 24 November 2006 18:12:13 UTC

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