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Re: Contd: [pedantic-web] question about sioc / foaf usage

From: Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 01:37:06 +0000
Message-ID: <ec8613a80911301737p652ed290y792190127e708790@mail.gmail.com>
To: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Cc: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, pedantic-web@googlegroups.com, public-lod@w3.org
On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 12:02 AM, Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com> wrote:
> The necessary declaration of "document" as distinct, and yet necessary
> for the definition of "data", and the necessity of different URI's for
> these two concepts, are fundamental sticking points for many people.

Who is getting stuck on this point? Documents have URIs, as do the
things documents might contain data about.

> If the HTTP web no longer existed (or the internet connection was
> temporarily down), the discussion about document versus data would be
> mute. Simple RDF Triple database queries, that do not rely on HTTP
> communication, have no necessary need to refer to the
> Document/Artifact. Only "data" would exist in the RDF triples (unless
> you deliberately blur the division using the notion of foaf:Document
> via foaf:primaryTopic for instance). Hence the debacle with saying
> that Document is a necessary element to understand and use RDF data
> linked together using resolvable HTTP URI's when to many it is just an
> artifact that doesn't influence, and shouldn't need to semantically
> interfere with, the data/information content that is actually being
> referenced.

I disagree. Documents aren't HTTP artefacts: they exist happily on
disks, printouts and in books. You can identify the medium (the data
container in Kingsley's words) separately from the things it is
describing (the data items). In fact it is usually necessary to do,
and intuitive for most people who can distinguish the publisher of a
book from the protaganist it describes.

>
> In the long term, I see it as introducing a permanent link from a
> semantic RDF (or other similar format) universe to the current
> document segregated web that wouldn't be there if everyone shared
> their RDF information through some other system, and for example only
> used the URI verbatim to do queries on some global hashtable/index
> somewhere where there was no concept of document at the native RDF
> level. The definition of Linked Data doesn't specifically say that
> HTTP URI's have to be resolved using HTTP GET requests over TCP port
> 80 using DNS for an intermediate host name lookup as necessary, so why
> should it require the notion of documents to be necessary containers
> for data pretty much just because that is how HTTP GET semantics work.
>
> I characterise it as a debacle because it has been a recurring
> discussion for many years and shows that the semantic communicty
> hasn't quite cleaned up its architecture/philosophy enough for it to
> be clear to people who are trying to understand it and utilise it
> without delving into philosophical debates.

It seems pretty clear to me and many others in my experience,
certainly not a debacle.

>
> Cheers,
>
> Peter
>

Ian
Received on Tuesday, 1 December 2009 01:37:40 UTC

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