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Re: #rdfms-literals-as-resources in scope?

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001 22:57:36 -0500
Cc: rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <20010705035737.MORV22670.femail17.sdc1.sfba.home.com@localhost>
I am often wary of games in wording since they mostly seem aimed 
at making people admit things that they don't believe. So I ask 
you to kindly stop the wordplay and instead let's have a 
discussion on what we really mean. Still, even as message stands 
it does not make much sense:

On Tuesday, July 3, 2001, at 02:48  AM, Brian McBride wrote:

>   The role of the RDF Core WG is to prepare the way for such work by
>   stabilizing the core RDF specifications. The RDF Core WG is neither
>   chartered to develop a new RDF syntax, nor to reformulate the 
> RDF model.
>
> I presume that we are all still comfortable to be bound by the charter.
> Broadly, the charter says we are to fix, clarify and improve the
> SPECIFICATION of RDF's abstract model and XML syntax.  We are
> specifically forbidden from reformulating the RDF model.

I'm not sure how to interpret that, since my dictionary says:

@prefix ed: <http://www.w3.org/2000/08/eb58#>.
@prefix dc: <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/>.
"""
reformulate
        v : formulate or develop again, of an improved theory or
            hypothesis [syn: redevelop]
"""

is ed:excerpt of [
   = 
<http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict?Form=Dict2&Database=*&Query=reformulate>;
   dc:title "The DICT Development Group: Online Dictionary Query- 
reformulate" ]

How do we improve something without coming up with an improved 
theory? Perhaps you can shed light on this definition of 
"reformulate".

Furthermore, it is unclear to me that we are strictly forbidden 
from doing so, it is simply not our charter (i.e. a specific 
goal/requirement).

> I suggest that the issue in question here is whether the abstract model
> described in m&s has a distinguished representation for Literals.

I'm not sure what that means. What is a "distinguished 
representation"? I think the question here is just what it would 
appear to be: Do literals (as defined by M&S) have URIs? Based 
on what I know about URIs, I'm pretty sure the answer is yes.

Let me be rather clear about my position in general: I think 
that an RDF statement is made up of three URIs.

> I have phrased this question carefully.  The question is not whether a
> literal is a resource, for to answer that we need to resolve a bunch
> of difficult issues around what resources are.  The question is
> whether the abstract model described in m&s treats literals specially.

I don't see how this is relevant to the issue at hand. Yes, 
there is a set of things in M&S called "Literals". Whether this 
is a side-effect of the XML syntax, or of the abstract syntax is 
not clear to me. Still, even if it was a special part of the 
abstract syntax, that does not prevent the set of Literals from 
having URIs. And if we do decide that they have URIs, that does 
not prevent us from maintaining this distinction or "special 
treatment".

--
[ "Aaron Swartz" ; <mailto:me@aaronsw.com> ; <http://www.aaronsw.com/> ]
Received on Wednesday, 4 July 2001 23:57:43 EDT

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