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Re: Trying to summarise: Semantic free identifiers

From: Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:28:10 -0400
Message-ID: <BANLkTimWk=4yPVv=HrPKfGsgKJXVH-2TaQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: James Malone <malone@ebi.ac.uk>
Cc: Andrea Splendiani <andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk>, Helena Deus <helenadeus@gmail.com>, Matt Vagnoni <matthew.vagnoni@uth.tmc.edu>, Michel_Dumontier <michel_dumontier@carleton.ca>, "Sivaram Arabandi, MD" <sivaram.arabandi@gmail.com>, "M. Scott Marshall" <mscottmarshall@gmail.com>, Chime Ogbuji <chimezie@gmail.com>, andrea splendiani <andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk>, "MMVagnoni@mdanderson.org" <mmvagnoni@mdanderson.org>, HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM, James Malone <malone@ebi.ac.uk> wrote:
> So.. a long but useful discussion. That will teach me to open my big mouth :)
> Is this fair as the PRIMARY reasons for this difference in opinions:
> 1. Having semantic information such as a label in a URI makes it easier
> to, at a glance, grasp some sort of meaning of a class/predicate and makes
> SPARQLing and looking at RDF easier.
> 2. NOT having semantic information in a URI ensures class definitions need
> to be looked up before they can be used, hence, reducing ambiguity and
> that it potentially improves maintainability.
> Can 1 be resolved by tooling? Seems to me 2 is happening already and will
> grow as practice in a lot of the bio-ontology community. If there is a
> lack of tooling surely this group should be looking at doing something
> about that - funding, lobbying..

  I don't think some one who does not look up the class definitions
would bother to keep the tool updated that resolves the meaningless

  I know a group of software developers working on a highly successful
project that uses various kinds of RDF data (mostly BioPAX, MIRIAM and
Dublin Core), but really they don't want to get bothered with the
theoretical intricacies. They just want some simple transparent
light-weight tool to turn the RDF into Java objects, and vice versa,
and if they want to understand what the tool does, rather than
studying RDF, they prefer to look at sample data, or the tool's source
code or use a debugger. They don't like those nasty URIs either and
prefer to deal just with local names.

  They would certainly not appreciate identifiers that are opaque.

  To me, it is just yet another attempt to turn RDF into something
that is marvelous in theory but no one will want to use.

     Take care

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
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 21:28:46 UTC

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