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Re: completion of action: 2001-07-27#2 (long) (use/mention in reification)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 08:07:19 -0500
Message-ID: <3B8F8C07.434CC81B@w3.org>
To: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
CC: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, dehora <dehora@eircom.net>, w3c-rdfcore-wg <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Jan Grant wrote:
> On Fri, 31 Aug 2001, Dan Connolly wrote:
> > Brian McBride wrote:
> > >
> > > pat hayes wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > Wait a minute. The subject is a URI, not a Resource, right?  The
> > > > Resource is what the subject (a piece of syntax) denotes, not the
> > > > subject itself.
> >
> > That's what you'd think, coming from a logic background, but
> > as Brian points out, RDF says the subject of
> >       Mary hit the ball.
> >
> > is a female person, not a word starting with 'M'.
> >
> > This is mother of all use/mention bugs, IMO.
> Or possibly the single most annoying typo (they left out "the denotation
> of..." all the way through) in M+S. While it's quite common to infer the
> missing words from context, it's extremely harmful in this case.

The problem with treating this as a typo and fixing it is that
all the implementations of reification that I've seen
follow the spec as written. So it's of little use to
change the spec now.

I suspect the thing to do is to phase out the existing
subject/predicate/object vocabulary and phase in a new
one that works.

This is just one more reason why the 1st draft of the model
theory shouldn't include reification.

> I think the missing words were _probably_ what was intended by the
> original M+S mob, but you'd have to ask them. One of the biggest
> stumbling blocks in understanding RDF seems to be realising the
> distinction between the denotation of and (for want of a better word)
> the dereferencing of a URI.
> I'm fairly sure that the original working group intended to do the
> "right" (ie, obvious) thing: evidence here is Ora's saying that he
> originally wanted to have a "URI" arc linking resource nodes with the
> addresses you could find them.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Friday, 31 August 2001 09:09:14 UTC

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