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Re: Proposed resolution needed: ISSUE-148: IRIs do *not* always denote the same resource

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2013 15:37:12 +0000
Cc: RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D3ACE544-EDFF-4ACA-AD62-BC56B8A3B089@cyganiak.de>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Why are we even discussing “identify”? David Booth is fine with the word “denote” that is currently in the text, and objected to changing it to “identify”.

I repeat my earlier proposal (in ever so slightly modified form):

By design, IRIs have global scope. Thus, two different appearances of an IRI denote the same resource. Violating this principle constitutes an IRI collision [WEBARCH].

David *almost* agreed to this, and I address the “almost” part here:

This is as good a compromise as we are likely to get. It’s a minimal change, it is obviously editorial, and it is backed by authoritative references and precedent and therefore very defensible.


On 17 Dec 2013, at 13:56, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com> wrote:

> On 12/17/13 8:18 AM, Markus Lanthaler wrote:
>> On Tuesday, December 17, 2013 2:01 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>> On 12/17/13 7:06 AM, Markus Lanthaler wrote:
>>>> I don't care much whether we use denote or identify. According to Pat,
>>>> "identify" is technically more correct whereas Richard points out that
>>>> "denote" is more consistent with the rest of the section. I personally
>>>> prefer "identify" in this case because I believe that it is the term
>> that's
>>>> best aligned with RFC3986/RC3987 and WEBARCH.
>>> Are you sure that Pat preferred "identify" over "denote" as you've
>>> presented above?
>> That's at least how I understood [1]:
>> [[[
>> Part of the problem is the use of the technical word "denote" here. Why not
>> use  the mealy-mouth word "meaning": two different appearances of an IRI
>> have identical meanings. That is technically correct, even if it is a bit
>> blurrier, because a 'meaning' can indeed be a way of referring ambiguously.
>> Actually I like this now I have thought of it. (Another option, closer to
>> this present wording, is to use "identify" rather than "denote".)
>> ]]]
>> ... but I'm sure Pat won't hesitate to tell us if he's misquoted :-)
>> [1]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-comments/2013Dec/0091.html
>> --
>> Markus Lanthaler
>> @markuslanthaler
> IRIs are used as a denotation mechanism in regards to RDF. An Identity card can be used to identify me. That same card will also consist of an identifier that denotes (signifies) me. The identifier in said card enables it identify me via a collection of claims (the kind one can express using RDF statements).
> Denotation (signification) and Identification are not the same thing. Of course, IRIs can be used to identify and denote, but that's all about the effect of the dreaded "resource" word that's an eternal confusion vector with regards to AWWW (Architecture World Wide Web). RDF isn't about crafting Webs (networks or clouds) of Web accessible resources where each is "identified" and "signified" by an HTTP URL. It goes beyond that by enabling the use of HTTP URIs to denote entities that aren't Web artifacts.
> In addition, as Richard already pointed out, "denote" is already used extensively in RDF literature, so why undo all of that?
> [1] http://bit.ly/Jfs12P -- illustrating my understanding of RDF (unless that illustration is "false" I struggle to see how we can coherently use "identify").
> -- 
> Regards,
> Kingsley Idehen	
> Founder & CEO
> OpenLink Software
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Received on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 15:37:40 UTC

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