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Re: A use case for anon nodes - action from telecon

From: Jan Grant <cmjg@mercury.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 12:09:39 +0100 (BST)
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
cc: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>, rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.31.0107191202390.29302-100000@mercury.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>
On Thu, 19 Jul 2001, Brian McBride wrote:

> Aaron Swartz wrote:
> > Obviously, he has studied this more than I
> > have, but it seems to me that people are asking anonymous nodes
> > to mean more than they really do.
> I find the circularity of that argument rather beautiful.

Heh. I've used anonymous nodes for (at least) three different things:

- placeholders for things that don't have a URI (eg, people)
- objects that I don't particularly care to name (eg, inventing a
superclass of two classes after the fact)
Both of these uses are pretty "standard"; also:

- acting as placeholders in a query template.

And I see this last use as legitimate. My querying process is simply
this: the server offers to locate bits of a graph that match a pattern;
you describe that pattern to it using anonymous nodes as variables. Yes,
it might be a semantic overloading, but when I looked* there wasn't any
one true method for expressing queries in RDF, so I made one up.

There is clearly a distinction here - one use is an existence claim of
somethign without a URI; the other is using an anon node to describe
something that I don't know the URI of. Logic only knows if these two
things are really the same.


* about 18 months ago

jan grant, ILRT, University of Bristol. http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
Tel +44(0)117 9287163 Fax +44 (0)117 9287112 RFC822 jan.grant@bris.ac.uk
(Things I've found in my attic, #2: A hundredweight of pornography.)
Received on Thursday, 19 July 2001 07:10:49 UTC

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