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Re: Dublin Core, the Primer and the Model Theory

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 07:37:31 -0400
Message-ID: <3CE399FB.9080100@mitre.org>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
CC: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Jeremy Carroll wrote:

> Summary:
>   - the current model theory
>     misarticulates the meaning of the triple:
>  <eg:doc1> <dc:creator> "John Smith" .
>   - many such triples occur both in the primer
>     and on the web.
>   - the model theory should be overhauled along the 
>     lines of Pat's simpledatatype2


> I believe that we will have great difficulty persuading the 
> Dublin Core community to stop using string literals to 
> represent real world entities. 

Lest anyone fail to make the obvious generalization here, it is not just 
the Dublin Core community that uses string literals to represent 
[actually, not "represent", but "denote" or "name"] real world entities. 
  Anyone who uses a relational database to store information about real 
world entities does the same thing.  In the Primer, there are examples 
in which an employee number is used to construct a URI that identifies 
the person in question.  But in reality that employee number would have 
been taken from a relational database as a string literal, and might 
well be used in literal form as the value of some RDF property.  If used 
as a dc:creator value, it wouldn't cause the specific mis-entailment 
cited by Jeremy (at least, not if kept within an appropropriate 
context!), but only because an "extra-model-theory" mechanism enforces 
(some) uniqueness constraint on the association of values to entities. 
But, as noted, RDF can't tell the difference between those kinds of 
literals and others.


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Thursday, 16 May 2002 07:30:06 UTC

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