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Re: Graphs and Being and Time

From: Gavin Carothers <gavin@topquadrant.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:34:41 -0800
To: public-rdf-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <201102231434.41763.gavin@topquadrant.com>
On Wednesday 23 February 2011, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
> On 23 February 2011 22:46, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
> > On Feb 23, 2011, at 2:43 PM, Dan Brickley wrote:
> >> On 23 February 2011 21:13, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
> >> [...]
> >> 
> >>> What we need is the notion of a 'graph token' (or some other
> >>> terminology: see below for more on terminology), meaning an actual
> >>> representation of an RDF graph.
> >> 
> >> [...]
> >> 
> >> I like this thinking. A natural term here might be 'document'.
> > 
> > Hmmm. Maybe, but I actually avoided that term deliberately, partly to
> > avoid getting into debates about whether or not some chunk of a quad
> > store counted as a document (for example) and partly because it seems
> > reasonable to allow some kinds of document to contain several graph
> > tokens, or even to allow a notion of graph token that is spread over
> > several documents. I suspect, reading on, that you have in mind a more
> > general notion of document than I was thinking of (my paradigm
> > "document" is an RDF/XML file), in which case we are probably in
> > agreement over everything except terminology.
> 
> If we can avoid trying to define 'document', we'll save a lot of time,
> true... but for lots of of developers there's a concrete notion
> roughly around 'data item', 'record', 'file', 'document' that this is
> close to.
> 

As someone who moved from storing RDF graphs on a file system to in an XQuery 
database to storing them in a quad store, and then implementing SPARQL 1.1 
Uniform HTTP Protocol for Managing RDF Graphs. I can happily say that that 
thinking about graphs as documents (including in XQuery doc($uri)) was very 
useful, a reasonably good fit, and easy to explain. Also allowed the use of 
tools that may or may not have been designed with RDF in mind.

However, there are some strange bits of that. On the file system the document 
URI (file path) and the Graph URI have nothing to do with each other. I think 
this sort of thing has been solved a LOT of ways over the years. I'm not sure 
if it has ever been solved WELL as it always seems to cause at least some 
amount of pain. XML Catalogs, System DTDs, URIResolver, etc. I think a great 
deal of good work in this area has been done by the XML WGs over the years. It 
seems to make sense to at least look at what they have done?

--Gavin
Received on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 22:35:13 GMT

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