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RE: My task from last week: Semantic free identifiers

From: Graham Matthews <graham@orangedogconsulting.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:30:13 -0700
Message-Id: <8B3BDCB4-750E-487C-AC9F-9C5F34BC99B2@orangedogconsulting.com>
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
> IMHO, if you're still coding the content of an information system by hand, then you're going to introduce errors. A database curator should never assign their own identifier - this is internal to the technology and the information system. If you're a programmer, you should query the resource (ontology) for the identifiers based on the labels.  Be more sophisticated. Do it right. Build useable APIs/UIs for people.
> 
> Best,
> 
> m.
Looking up URIs by their labels is a recipe for serious problems since several URIs may have the same label (e.g. "in" as a label can apply to a lot of relations -- locatedIn, locatedOn, inside, some temporal relations, etc).

If you look at URIs by label you are looking up semantics by it's syntax. We have been down that path before with other formalisms and it's proven itself to be generally a terrible idea (and not just in computer science).

Finally I think this whole debate is back-to-front. People seem to be worried about making SPARQL queries more neutral. Who cares about readability of SPARQL queries? No-one is going to be writing SPARQL queries. The tools should allow us to work at much higher levels of abstraction than queries, and then the tool spits out the write SPARQL query. The humans never see it. And those who do look at it will be experts and so can sort out the issues themselves.

graham
Received on Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:37:38 UTC

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