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RE: Proposed issue: What does using an URI require of me and my software?

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2003 20:37:33 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org

At 13:36 06/10/03 -0500, pat hayes wrote:
>[Graham Klyne:]
>>At 12:48 03/10/03 -0500, pat hayes wrote:
>>>Rather than quarrel over the meaning of words that have no exact meaning 
>>>(like "meaning" for a start) or that some of us think have exact 
>>>meanings but others think are meaningless (like "resource"), why don't 
>>>we try to get a bit more precise about why we feel that something - 
>>>ANYTHING - needs to be said about this issue.  If nobody can point to 
>>>anything that is likely to break if we say nothing, then the best thing 
>>>to do is to agree to say nothing.  And if they can, then at least we 
>>>will have some example scenarios to help us focus discussion.
>>A past point of contention has been the role of rdfs:comment in RDF.
>>Does it convey any kind of "meaning", or none at all?
>That's exactly the kind of question I would prefer that we try to avoid. 
>The only good answer is, yes and no.  But I'd refer to respond with 
>another question: why does it matter what the answer is?

Well, I don't know if it does or doesn't matter, but either way I'd really 
quite like to have an inkling why.  Maybe the answer to this question isn't 
of any great importance, but I think the uncertainties that surround it are 
a source of much confusion, which it would be good to diminish.

I guess that what I seek is greater clarity about what we can reasonably 
aim to achieve using SWeb technologies, and what should be recognized as 
falling into the windmills-to-be-tilted-at department.

I think the rdfs:comment is an interesting case because, say:

   ex@a rdfs@comment ex:b .

may, according to the semantics of RDF as currently specified, be the 
antecedent or conclusion of a non-trivial inference (not being a 
proposition that is trivially true or false), yet which does not of itself 
convey any meaning that is susceptible to deeper formal analysis.  (Maybe 
that's your "yes" and "no"?)  My intuition is that better understanding the 
ramifications of questions like this may help to reduce some of the 
recurring unproductive exchanges which (it seems to me) lie at the heart of 
why this topic was bounced to the SWCG for further analysis.


Graham Klyne
Received on Monday, 6 October 2003 16:01:24 UTC

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