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Re: An ontology of resources and realization [was: RE: on documents and terms [was: RE: [WNET] new proposal WN URIs and related issues]]

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2006 11:25:58 -0400
Message-ID: <4458CB86.7070102@acm.org>
To: Aldo Gangemi <aldo.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>
CC: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, public-swbp-wg@w3.org, presutti@cs.unibo.it

Aldo Gangemi wrote:
> 
> Hi Pat, David, Dan,
> 
> I've processed this thread only yesterday, and I find it very 
> entertaining, we're talking of substantial stuff here ...
> 
> In my opinion, the discussion would be easier if we could negotiate our 
> meaning by using ontologies, which are not only an infrastructure for 
> the Semantic Web :)

I agree.  I've downloaded your IRW paper, but haven't had a chance to 
read it yet.  However, there seems to be a bit more going on (see below).

> 
> As far as I understand, the point by David and Frank (and TAG) is that 
> "information resources" are not data, while "representations" are. 
> Information resources are some kind of things that are "represented" by 
> a representation, which is called to be an "abstraction".

I don't think I said that (and I don't think the TAG did either). 
Certainly "representations" (in this context) are data (stuff that can 
be sent in a message).  However, just because a distinction is made 
between representations and resources doesn't mean some resources can't 
be data.  In fact, an information resource is one whose "essential 
characteristics" can be represented by data.  And, speaking more 
conventionally, the sorts of resources the TAG uses as examples of 
information resources, namely Web pages, images, and product catalogs, 
*are* data.

In one of my earlier messages in this thread, I said I thought we should 
be looking more at ways to use the RDF/OWL/... class of languages to 
provide metadata about the kinds of things dereferencing a URI would 
return, and what kinds of things a given thing returned might be useful 
for.  If I understand the subject of your paper correctly, it attempts 
to address some of these issues.

The overall issue here, it seems to me, is how to connect the "regular" 
web with the Semantic Web and, in particular, looking for a connection 
*other* than simply that the information in the Semantic Web can 
describe the information in the regular web, with no further distinction 
being made.  Information in the Semantic Web can always describe the 
information in the regular web, just as information in the Semantic Web 
can describe other kinds of things, like people and cars, using 
appropriate ontologies.  You coin URIs to denote the resources being 
described, and write RDF/OWL statements to describe them.  While there's 
lots of room for discussion about the details of the ontologies that 
might be used for this, I don't think the general idea is controversial.

Additional approaches *built into the Web architecture*, such as 
distinct return codes for different kinds of resources, or different 
kinds of URIs for different kinds of resources, go beyond this, and one 
of the issues is whether, and what kinds of, such additional techniques 
are appropriate.

--Frank
Received on Wednesday, 3 May 2006 15:21:11 GMT

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