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RE: owl:sameAs - Is it used in a right way?

From: Erich Gombocz <egombocz@io-informatics.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:36:26 -0700
Message-ID: <08AE3015BD5DF149951910A5E851F010010A371F@MAIL-02.io-informatics.com>
To: "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Agree with Kingsley. 


The challenges have been really reflected throughout the entire trail of these conversations, and lots of valid points have been made from diverse *perspectives* presented as the only way of thinking about it. We need to have a clear strategy based on rules and definitions if we want to make semantic technology succeed and thrive as mainstream.


Do we have figured *every* individual case out yet? Probably not – but this discussion is definitely worth to have as it points to the root causes of misunderstanding and misuse of RDF/OWL and Uris.






From: Kingsley Idehen [mailto:kidehen@openlinksw.com] 
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:28 AM
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Subject: Re: owl:sameAs - Is it used in a right way?


On 3/20/13 10:58 PM, David Booth wrote:

Thus, to be very clear, under the existing RDF Semantics specification, a given URI does *not* necessarily map to only one resource. 

True, but I don't think the statement above always provides the clarity intended. 

"Resource" is a synonym of "Entity" as *now* clearly stated in the latest RDF concepts guide [1]. Once we get over the conflation inherent in "Resource" and look towards "Entity" the issue starts to get much clearer, as exemplified by RDF based Linked Data [2] and its specific use of URIs to denote "Entities" while also identifying their "Descriptor Documents". 

All "Resources" aren't of the same medium. The Web, Internet are mediums distinct from the medium we *refer to* as the real-world. Thus, the claim that everything is a "Resource" without medium specificity is one of the ultimate recipes for unproductive debate and confusion, as a zillion mail threads over the years have demonstrated. 

In the context of RDF, a URI denotes an Entity. 
In the context of RDF based Linked Data, a URI denotes an Entity in a manner that enables it resolve to a Web Document (denoted by its own URI which is usually a URL) that describes the denoted entity (aka. URI referent) . 

1. http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf11-concepts/#resources-and-statements -- showcasing the critical "Resource" fix
2. http://twitpic.com/cbk8ul -- illustrating HTTP URI duality and the Semiotic triangle .

Kingsley Idehen       
Founder & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
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Received on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:36:51 UTC

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