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RE: A triple is not unique.

From: Graham Klyne <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 17:35:00 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: "McBride, Brian" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "'Seth Russell'" <seth@robustai.net>, RDF-IG <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 11:53 AM 11/19/00 +0000, McBride, Brian wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Seth Russell [mailto:seth@robustai.net]
> > Sent: 18 November 2000 16:57
> > To: RDF-IG
> > Subject: A triple is not unique.
> >
> >
> > The triples in my computer are different from the triples in
> > your computer.  If I assert to my computer:
> >
> > <description about="uri1">
> >   <foo>uri2</foo>
> > </description>
> >
> > I will have the triple [uri1, foo, uri2] in my computer.  If
> > you read the RDF statement above, you will have the same
> > triple in your computer. Now if I refer to a triple with the
> > syntax:
>The number 1 is not unique.  If you have a 1 in your computer
>and Dan has a 1 in his computer, and I refer to the number 1,
>then which 1 am I referring to?
>The point here is that the triple is abstract.  What you have
>in your computer is a representation of a triple, not the triple

Well put!

>Giving a URI to a triple will not help.  You'd have to decide if
>you the URI named the triple - i.e. the abstract thing - in which
>case you have changed nothing, or a particular representation of
>a triple, in which case you don'thave a means to refer to the

If you take the RFC 2396 view that a URI identifies a "conceptual mapping", 
of which an "entity" is a representation, then I think the situation is 
clearer (i.e. the URI names the abstract triple).  Unfortunately, it's not 
entirely clear to me that RDF takes this approach (because of its use of 
fragment identifiers in RDF-resource identifiers).


Graham Klyne
Received on Sunday, 19 November 2000 11:55:49 UTC

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