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Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 15:14:17 -0500
Message-ID: <5639badd1002011214r4d3e2489q473b1c8ecdacc939@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu>
Cc: w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, "Eric Prud'hommeaux" <eric@w3.org>
     Hello,

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 1:30 PM, John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu> wrote:
> We had an interesting call in TERM today. One of the topics I would like to boil down to the question "When does a document acquire its semantics?" or, "when does a document come to mean something?"
>
> I argued the (admittedly intentionally) radical view that documents have no semantics whatsoever until a reader performs an act of interpretation upon the document, which in the Semantic Web world would be the same as attributing an RDF/OWL graph to the document.
>
> Even if the author of the document attributes a a particular RDF/OWL graph to her won document, I argued that this graph is not privileged in any way. That others could justifiably argue that the author's own RDF/OWL graph is incomplete, or flawed, or irrelevant, or even incorrect. And the same is true of any subsequent interpreters (i.e. authors of RDF/OWL graphs that purport to represent the "meaning" of the same document).
>
> Eric argued a really interesting point. He argued (and Eric, correct me if I'm interpreting you wrong here), that semantics instead come into existence (or perhaps *can* come into existence) at the point when somebody executes a SPARQL query on a set of RDF/OWL graphs. That is to say, maybe I'm wrong and semantics doesn't even come into existence when somebody attributes an RDF/XML graph to a document; but rather it only comes into existence when somebody queries across (possibly) many graphs of many different people.
>
> What do you think?

  Can you give an example were this difference is relevant?

     Take care
     Oliver

-- 
Oliver Ruebenacker, Computational Cell Biologist
Systems Biology Linker at Virtual Cell (http://vcell.org/sybil)
Turning Knowledge Data into Models
Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling
http://www.oliver.curiousworld.org
Received on Monday, 1 February 2010 20:14:46 GMT

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