W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > June 2007

Re: homonym URIs (Re: What if an URI also is a URL)

From: John Black <JohnBlack@kashori.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 09:57:12 -0400
Message-ID: <1b0801c7adc2$be8c12a0$6601a8c0@KASHORI001>
To: "Jon Hanna" <jon@hackcraft.net>, "Pierre-Antoine Champin" <swlists-040405@champin.net>
Cc: "Richard Cyganiak" <richard@cyganiak.de>, "Pat Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>, "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>

Jon Hanna wrote:

>> we keep using the same word for slightly different things (e.g. a city
>> as an administrative entity or as a populated location), as long as the
>> difference between them is not relevant to us. The same will be true of
>> URIs that we will create and put in RDF. We can not expect everybody on
>> the web to require the same level of detail on every part of the world
>> about which they make RDF statements.
> If you have a URI that means "London; the administrative entity" then it 
> means just that.
> If you have a URI that means "London; the populated location" then it 
> means just that.
> If you have a URI that means "London; a populated location which was made 
> an administrative entity" then it means just that.
> You can go from one to the other if you know the relationship between 
> them. If I start thinking of London - populated location and the context 
> makes it apparant I should be thinking about the administrative entity 
> then the mental switching of gears is doing exactly that.
> There are clearly problems if a system doesn't know about that connection 
> between the three different concepts above, but if it's meant to know 
> about them then the problem isn't in the URIs.

There it is again. Am I missing something? One minute you are talking about 
London and the next minute you are talking about the concept of London. But 
aren't the two distinct? Everyone seems to do it (at least I used to, I'm 
trying to stop). But once more, surely the two have different referents:
"I live in the city of London" - possible but false
"I live in the concept of London" - huh?


>> An intuition is that owl:sameAs may be too strong a statement
>> in a context where URI can be ambiguous.
> I think that's definitely true.
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 13:57:46 UTC

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