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RE: Resources and URIs

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 09:51:07 +0300
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B01B90D45@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Cc: <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, <gk@ninebynine.org>, <uri@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]
> Sent: 28 April, 2003 17:33
> To: Stickler Patrick (NMP/Tampere)
> Cc: phayes@ai.uwf.edu; gk@ninebynine.org; uri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Resources and URIs
> Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com scripsit:
> > A representation of a thing is also a thing. And a thing and
> > its representation must both have distinct URIs if we are to talk
> > about both of them unambiguously.
> > 
> > One should not expect a given URI to denote both a thing and a
> > representation of that thing, 
> This is where Topic Maps shine.  

Well, that's certainly open to debate ;-)

> They have two different contexts for
> using a URI: the "resource reference" context, where a URI 
> refers to an
> electronically accessible object; and the "subject indicator 
> reference"
> context, where a URI refers to something suggested by the 
> electronically
> accessible object.

The problem with contextual interpretation of URIs is that you must
embue every property with the particular context it is intended to
reflect, so for any given RDF ontology, which has N properties which
may take any resource, either a thing or its representation, each
resource unambiguously denoted by its own URI, for a TM realization
where representations have no distinct URIs, you'd need 2N properties
to differentiate between when the object of the statement is the thing
or a representation of the thing.

And how, pray tell, do you deal with multiple representations?

Even if you can have two properties, one that signals intepretation 
of its object in the "resource reference" context and another that
signals interpretation in the "subject indicator reference" context,
you'd still need distinct URIs to differentiate the *multiple*

I've gone over and over TMs regarding this issue of contextual
interpretation, and perhaps I'm just stupid, but I've never come
to the conclusion that it is better than the RDF-like non-contextual
globally consistent interpretation of URIs. 

(and BTW, I started with ISO TMs and XTM long before I got into RDF,
and was wooed by RDF precisely because of issues such as this, so
I'm not a "blind RDF fart who just won't take the time to consider
TMs seriously" ;-)



Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 2003 02:55:19 UTC

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