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Re: RDF Semantics - Identify vs. Denote distinction is not helpful

From: Guus Schreiber <guus.schreiber@vu.nl>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 13:21:19 +0200
Message-ID: <524C01AF.4050707@vu.nl>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
CC: public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Dear David,

Thanks for your comment. We have raised an issue for tracking your 
comment [1]. We will get back to you on this.

Best,
Guus, on behalf of the RDF WG

[1] https://www.w3.org/2011/rdf-wg/track/issues/145

On 02-10-13 03:30, David Booth wrote:
> First off, I apologize for the lateness of these comments and how
> hastily they are written.  Given that people who are not members of the
> RDF working group cannot subscribe to the RDF mailing list -- even in
> read-only mode -- and there was no mention of it on the rdf-comments
> list (to which non-members can subscribe), and no mention of it in the
> editor's draft documents that i've been reading (in order to read the
> most up-to-date text), I did not realize that these documents were in
> Last Call.  Sorry!   I'll try to break my comments up into separately
> addressable issues.  Here is the first.
>
> https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/rdf/raw-file/default/rdf-mt/index.html
>
> In Section 4, The distinction between "identify" and "denote" does not
> seem helpful.  I think it adds more confusion than clarity.  AFAICT a
> key point of using the notion of interpretations is to allow IRIs to be
> mapped to entities in one's universe of discourse -- whatever real world
> entities one wishes to talk about.  By distinguishing between "identify"
> and "denote" in essence *two* mappings are being created: an
> identifies-mapping and a denotes-mapping.  This gives the impression
> that the identifies-mapping is the one that is used colloquially, but
> the denotes-mapping is the formal one addressed in the RDF Semantics. It
> seems to me that this dichotomy defeats the purpose of interpretations.
> Interpretations are supposed to allow us to connect the formal semantics
> to the real world universe of discourse that we care about -- not to
> some universe of irrelevant, fictional entities that exist only in the
> idealized world of the RDF Semantics.
>
> In reading this section, I also get the impression that the motivation
> for this distinction is to avoid quandaries cased by having an IRI that
> may ambiguously denote two different things.  Defining two different
> notions of mapping from IRIs to resources is the *wrong* solution to
> that problem.  There is no justification for preferentially choosing one
> of those mappings over the other.  They can both perfectly well be
> denotes-mappings, but under different *interpretations*.  (Remember: the
> same IRI can perfectly well map to *different* resources in different
> interpretations.)  This already works perfectly under the existing RDF
> Semantics.
>
> In short, I think the definition of "identify" should be eliminated, as
> it adds confusion rather than helping.
>
> David
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 11:21:46 UTC

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