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Re: Terminology Question concerning Web Architecture and Linked Data

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 13:14:13 -0500
Message-Id: <p0623090cc2cd3e031d9f@[]>
To: "Chris Bizer" <chris@bizer.de>
Cc: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>, "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, <www-tag@w3.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>, "Linking Open Data" <linking-open-data@simile.mit.edu>

>Hi Frank,
>>I'd seriously suggest you look for some 
>>alternative  to "data item" for the concept in 
>OK, but this leads to a question which I 
>accutally wanted to try to avoid asking on this 
>Hmm, I will do it anyway and see what happens ;-)
>Question 4: What term should we use instead?

Using the heuristic principle that an artificial 
coinage is less likely to cause confusion than 
re-using an existing term with a new meaning, how 
about 'transmit' used as a noun? What you get 
back from dereferencing the URI is either a 
representation<sub>REST</sub> of the resource, 
when its an information resource, or else 
a >>transmit<< which describes (in some broad 
sense) the resource, if its a non-information 

Or, if this seems too peculiar, call it the 
'represented description' or 'redirected 
description'. Either of these could be 
abbreviated to 'redescription', which is 
(arguably) an English word that hasn't been 
technically re-used too much yet. Because 
according to your definition, its relationship to 
the resource is being a description of it, and to 
the URI is being the 
representation<sub>REST</sub> of the resource to 
which the first http endpoint redirects to.

Yet another possibility which will confuse only a 
vanishingly small set of people is 'infon', taken 
from situation theory where it means something 
like a coherent chunk of information about 


>Chris Bizer
>Freie Universitšt Berlin
>Phone: +49 30 838 54057
>Mail: chris@bizer.de
>Web: www.bizer.de
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>
>To: "Chris Bizer" <chris@bizer.de>
>Cc: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>; 
><www-tag@w3.org>; <semantic-web@w3.org>; 
>"Linking Open Data" 
>Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 6:07 PM
>Subject: Re: Terminology Question concerning Web Architecture and Linked Data
>>I appreciate that we run into terminology 
>>conflicts all the time around here, but I'd 
>>seriously suggest you look for some alternative 
>>to "data item" for the concept in question.  An 
>>awful lot of people (particularly those 
>>involved with databases) are used to seeing 
>>"data  item" refer to something like a property 
>>or attribute (like "name" or  "age").  More 
>>specifically, they're used to seeing records as 
>>containing multiple data items (or their 
>>values).  From that point of  view, the 
>>sentence "When you interpret the Web of Data as 
>>a set of  interlinked databases, a data item 
>>would equal a record in a specific  database." 
>>looks particularly strange.  As I say, I 
>>understand the  inevitability of terminology 
>>conflicts, but ...?
>>On Jul 25, 2007, at 10:12 AM, Chris Bizer wrote:
>>>Hi Tim,
>>>>I can't think of a term for "the information 
>>>>which you get about the thing identified by 
>>>>it  when you look up a URI" which works for 
>>>>It has of course the term "Representation" 
>>>>which connects an Information Resource and 
>>>>the (metadata, bits) pair which you get back, 
>>>>which is different.
>>>As we did not want to repeat the definition 
>>>all over the tutorial, we ended up with a term 
>>>called "data item".
>>>Within section 2.1 of the tutorial, we define 
>>>the term as: "The term data items refers to 
>>>the description of a non-information resource 
>>>that a client obtains by dereferencing a 
>>>specific URI that identifies this 
>>>non-information resource." 
>>>Note that the definition is a bit more 
>>>specific than your sentence above, as it is 
>>>restricted to non-information resources and 
>>>not things in general (assuming that your term 
>>>"thing" refers to non- information resources 
>>>as well as information resources).
>>>We were also struggling to find a good word 
>>>that matches the concept and have chosen "data 
>>>item" in the end as it somehow relates to the 
>>>overall term "Linked Data" and as we hope that 
>>>people from the database community will 
>>>understand the second informal definition of 
>>>the term: "When you interpret the Web of Data 
>>>as a set of interlinked databases, a data item 
>>>would equal a record in a specific database."

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Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 18:15:35 UTC

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