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useful bits from "Meaning"

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 02 Dec 2002 00:38:27 -0600
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Stuart Williams <skw@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: www-archive@w3.org, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1038811108.5180.10173.camel@dirk>

Ian, Stuart,

re "Action DC: Review Meaning to see if there's any part of
self-describing Web for the arch doc."
 --  http://www.w3.org/2002/11/04-tag-summary

These sections look quite useful:

  FAQ: Surely meaning is only defined by use?
  FAQ: Doesn't the meaning of a document depend on its context?

  -- The meaning of a document -- Axioms of Web architecture
  http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Meaning.html
  Mon, 11 Nov 2002 20:30:36 GMT

I'm not sending this to www-tag yet because I haven't
really figured out where they fit; i.e. I haven't formed
a proposal to edit the arch doc.

Also,

The basic idea that I was looking for (the
self-describing web, i.e. that you should
be able to figure out what a document means by
view source/follow-your-nose) is in there, sorta,
but not effectively communicated.

i.e. I don't find this formulation of
the principle very appealing at all:

  The meaning of a document is then the product of the text
  of the document (in some language) and the
  meaning of the language.

This is close to the idea, but the idea I have
in mind (a) isn't restricted to the semantic web,
and (b) isn't primarily about translation from
one language to another.

  The semantic web consists of some "terminal" languages which
  are defined solely in natural language terms, and some
  languages for which there are machine-readable interpretations
  into other formal languages. Whereas programs processing
  documents in the first sort of language will typically have
  to be hand coded, documents in the second set may be
  processed automatically to convert them into languages
  in the first set.

So I don't know if my action should be
continued, withdrawn, or considered complete.
It's in progress, in any case.

-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 01:38:25 GMT

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