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Re: [OEP] Draft of a note on n-ary relations

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 12:28:12 +0100
Message-ID: <409B72CC.3010301@w3.org>
To: Guus Schreiber <schreiber@cs.vu.nl>
Cc: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, Natasha Noy <noy@SMI.Stanford.EDU>, swbp <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>

Guus Schreiber wrote:

> Reification is the proper term. For example, it is also used in UML 
> books to describe association classes.
> I would suggest to put in a NOTE in the text to indicate that the term 
> is used in the general sense and does ot refer to RDF reification.

Reification would be the proper term normally. It is unfortunate that 
the RDF spec uses up such a useful word, and particularly unfortunate 
that RDF reification isn't a particularly useful representational 
mechanism. I would advise against using the word 'reification' (even 
with a NOTE) to describe "non-RDF" reification in an RDF context. Even 
writing that last sentence tied me in knots, since non-RDF-reification 
(eg. the n-ary conventions) is of course something we do in RDF. The 
word is gone, taken from us... to use it is to encourage its continued 
use, and not everyone will be as careful as us to include a disclaimer 
NOTE. I guess I'm not arguing that we must completely avoid its use (eg. 
in footnotes, parentheses, discussion of relation to UML etc.), just to 
minimise references to 'reification' wherever possible.

Received on Friday, 7 May 2004 07:28:43 UTC

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