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Re: My task from last week: Semantic free identifiers

From: Andrea Splendiani <andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2011 20:03:54 +0000
Message-ID: <339406500899514@jngomktg.net>
To: Mark <markw@illuminae.com>
Cc: "Vagnoni,Matthew M" <MMVagnoni@mdanderson.org>, "andrea splendiani (RRes-Roth)" <andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk>, 'James Malone' <malone@ebi.ac.uk>, HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
let me take half a step back and make one provocative statement:

the step back:
I was actually thinking more about something like GoodRelations, rather than
biomedical ontologies. I have to admit the second is a more controlled

The provocative statement:
If the bit about multilingualism is true... then there should be problems
virtually with every programming language... as they all (at least that I
know) use keywords derived from the english language.

"If () then" is clearly and unambiguously  understood by programmers
(whichever is their native language) by its intended meaning, rather then
the linguistic connotations.

However, if I had to write "XX () YYY" instead of "if () then", it would
just be more difficult...

Anyway, I didn't want to open a long thread...

Il giorno 20/giu/2011, alle ore 20.27, Mark ha scritto:

> On Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:08:43 -0700, Andrea Splendiani  
> <andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk> wrote:
>> - in a continuum between web and semantic web, perhaps IDs are not only
>> intended to be 'understood' by machines.
>> Again, I understand the reason for them. But is it worth the reduced
>> intuitiveness ? Or the added complexity to retain a bit of it ?
> I couldn't disagree more :-)
> I tend to err on the side of doing "the right thing", and ensuring that  
> the tooling is there to support "the right thing"... By "right thing" I  
> mean that I'm sure Hungarian semantic-webbers would have quite something  
> to say about a decision to make the URI "partOf" rather than "A_0001" +  
> multi-lingual labels.  It's a bit selfish of us English-speakers to create
> global infrastructures just for ourselves... na?
> (though I guess, for them, "partOf" *is* opaque... so...??  Perhaps that  
> argument is somewhat spurious??)
> Regardless, just as browser bookmarks were created so that we humans  
> wouldn't have to remember/type/read URIs, there is no good reason that we 

> humans should ever have to read RDF-XML... and if you are expert enough to
> *have* to read it, then you should probably be sophisticated enough to  
> deal with opaque identifiers (preferably using appropriate tools ;-) ).   
> If we're having trouble constructing SPARQL queries using opaque  
> identifiers, lets not solve the problem by building a  
> "philosophically/technically-incorrect" global architecture just for the  
> sake of convenience, lets fix it at the level of the SPARQL query writer.
> $0.02  <-- mark:partOfMine
> Mark

Andrea Splendiani
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Centre for Mathematical and Computational Biology
+44(0)1582 763133 ext 2004
Received on Monday, 20 June 2011 20:05:08 UTC

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