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Re: RDF Terminologicus

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard@universimmedia.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 15:17:34 +0100
Message-ID: <000901c07722$5d025040$8cc68aa4@bernard>
To: "Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN" <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>, "Graham Klyne" <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Cc: "RDF-IG" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

I've been following your debate from an "outsider" viewpoint, since I've
been involved in Topic Maps rather than in RDF, but am very eager to see
how we'll get to the announced convergence between RDF and XTM.

Similar problems have been widely tackled in long debates in XTM community.
A resulting syntactic consensus you can find at
and some archives of debate at http://egroups.com/group/xtm-wg

To make it short, the TM terminology and "philosophy" are as follows :

"Entity" is not used, and "reification" as been lately declared "outlaw".

"Subject", which represents what a Topic is about, is maybe what is nearest
to "Entity" as I understand it - or maybe "entity" is something between
"subject" and "topic" -  ... anyway ... subjects are split in "addressable
subjects" and "non-adressable subjects", e.g.
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax is an addressable subject, but "RDF
Model and Syntax Specification" is a non-adressable subject. The first one
being an addressable proxy for the second, it may be called Subject
Indicator Reference, and is used to define the Subject Identity, the
following syntax being used :

    <topic id="RDF-Model-and-Syntax-Specification">

Another addressable resource "representing" the same subject, e.g. whatever
"elsewhere.org/RDF/Model_and_Syntax_Specification/description.htm", will be
attached to the topic as an occurrence.

A Topic Maps 0.02 in your terminologicus debate. BTW I'd like we have some
open dedicated discussion space on the convergences/divergences of terms
and concepts between RDF and XTM.


Bernard Vatant
"Building Knowledge"

----- Message d'origine -----
De : Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>
À : Graham Klyne <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Cc : RDF-IG <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Envoyé : vendredi 5 janvier 2001 10:34
Objet : Re: RDF Terminologicus

> Graham Klyne wrote:
> > >I guess we should refer to [RFC 2396] where TBL defines a resource as
> > >"a mapping to an entity or a set of entities".
> > >Web resources' entities are pieces of data, and the same URI can map
> > >more than one piece of data, depending on the retrieval context.
> > >RDF resources' entities can also be human beings, places, etc...
> > >When a resources maps to an entity,
> > >we will often say that the resource represents/models/stands for the
> >
> > Ouch!  I was using entity above in a non-RFC2396 sense.
> I think that the term "entity" in RDF2396 can be understood in its most
general sense;
> what is important to keep in mind is that resources are *not* entities,
they map to them.
> e.g. : the URI
>   mailto:champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr
> identifies a resource which "maps to" / "stands for" entities like my
mailbox or myself,
> depending on the use you make of it.
> This is how I undestand RDF2396; there is no restriction on the
definition of entity here.
> > A simpler approach
> > is to not try and define "stand for" and see if its use in the
> > of 'reification' can "stand" unsupported
> On the contrary, I think it is an important definition :
> the terms "represents", "models" or "stands for" are quite intuitive,
> and hence we use them a lot, so they deserve a formal definition.
Received on Friday, 5 January 2001 09:19:56 UTC

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