W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > May 2000

RE: Anonymous resource names -versus- variables

From: Bill dehOra <Wdehora@cromwellmedia.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 10:33:48 +0100
Message-ID: <43C2F98D8414D411865A00508BC22AB906414B@odin.cromwellmedia.co.uk>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

:I disagree with this on two counts:
:1.  The statement implies that RDF exists to describe the 
:Internet, in the 
:same way that maps describe the physical world.  I don't see 
:this as the 
:case;  rather, the Internet is just part of the machinery.  I 
:say that RDF 
:exists to describe "resources" (whatever they may be, but I 
:think that one 
:could say that resources are made of information in a fashion 
:analogous the 
:real-world objects being made of atoms).

Unquestionably RDF can say anything about anything (why one would want to is
another matter : ). However, It's safe to say that RDF is fashioned in the
first instance to describe web nominal resources, in other words resources
that can have URIs associated with them. It's since been pointed out to me
that a resource can be construed as anything at the end of a URL. Maybe that
denotes resources 'in the small', but it's an eminently pragmatic way of
thinking about resources for day to day use with RDF. I expect we are
talking at cross purposes with respect to maps.

:That said, I can find resonance with your conclusion.  I guess 
:we arrive by 
:different paths.  (But, hey, isn't that what RDF is meant to allow?)

My post was partially tongue in cheek. But I am concerned though that RDF is
getting mired in issues (or falling down ratholes, as Dan says) that require
consensus rather than truth. Sometimes hallucinations are good enough.

None of this is to say that these issues aren't important (they are), or
fascinating (they are). But maybe it's not the face of RDF that the world
needs to see right now, any more than we'd sell XML by first telling
everyone about namespaces. So, I humbly suggest that matters RDF be kept as
simple as possible, but no simpler, in order that it comes into widespread
use. I am concerned that the w3c may think that RDF is in some way
inevitable. It's not. 

Toward this, I would really like to see normative addenda to the reccs
stating explicitly what RDF(S) means by: a) a resource; b) a URI; c) a
statement; d) a reified statement. There's seems to be enough confusion to
warrant this.

Received on Tuesday, 9 May 2000 05:31:54 UTC

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