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Re: RDF-ISSUE-25 (Deprecate Reification)

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:52:34 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1302555154.6968.40.camel@waldron>
On Mon, 2011-04-11 at 13:50 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:

> I guess I give up at this point, Sandro. If you can't see the
> difference between making assertions about the (or a) world, and
> making assertions about syntax, I don't think we are going to be able
> to communicate rationally. To me, these are about as different as two
> things can be. Ever noticed what the original meaning of 'ontology'
> is? 

Hmmm. I don't want to push you into a conversation that doesn't feel
productive to you.   My issue is this: I see a series of steps (one
might even say a slippery slope) from William's example that everyone
seems to think is fine, on down to RDF reification. 

When I thought I understood where the bright line was, you disagreed.  
You said that my example:

> [ :ternaryRelation movie:showing;
>   :op1 "The Sound of Music";
>   :op2 "2011-04-11T12:40:00Z"^^xs:datetime;
>   :op3 eg:SomeTheater ]

wasn't reification, but I think that's just a description of a 3-ary
predicate atomic sentence -- that is, it's about syntax.   You also
asked what is this "thing", and the answer is "a sentence" (of some
sort).   Perhaps my example -- that I meant that as a sentence -- wasn't
very clear.   When I made the 3-ary relationship (the
showing-of-a-movie-at-some-time-and-place) an RDF object, that felt like
reificiation (of *a* logic, but not of RDF) to me.    So perhaps it's
the description of the syntax of a language in that language itself
that's the problem?

I think one of the reasons this is a perpetual source of tension in the
RDF community is that a tenet of RDF is that you can (and *should*) talk
about everything using these triples.   And now someone tells us, well,
everything EXCEPT the syntactic expressions of the language itself!
That's a little awkward.

       -- Sandro
Received on Monday, 11 April 2011 20:52:42 UTC

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