W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > January 2001

Proposal: variables, templates, and Stickey Cyber Molecules

From: Seth Russell <seth@robustai.net>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 12:25:07 -0800
Message-ID: <3A60B9A3.232EA556@robustai.net>
To: RDF-IG <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Somebody, I forget who, just recently said that RDF doesn't
have [the capability to] have variables.   Well I disagree,
I don't see why we can't define a set of URI's that function
quite nicely as variables.   May I suggest the following:

         ?:<any string of letters>#<class or property id>

The uri means that the destination agent may fill in
whatever uri qualifies.   Here are some use cases:

any resource   ?:x#Resource
some other resource  ?:y#Resource
any class whatever  ?:x#Class
any property whatever  ?:x#Property

Note that I left out the namespaces intentionally .. but
that discussion can follow if anybody is interested.  Please
let me know if I have broken any of the URI rules.

Now we can write retrievals:
retrieve [?:x#Resource, ?:x#type,
which, on a suitably educated model,  should return a list
of known Schemas.

An now we can write templates which are just any set of RDF
statements containing variables:

[http://robustai.net#seth, rdf:type,  swag:Human]
[http://robustai.net#seth, swag:isLookingFor, ?:x#Person]
[http://robustai.net#seth, swag:isWorkingOn,

[?:x#Person,  swag:isFluentIn,  msn:VisualBasic]
[?:x#Person,  swag:isFluentIn,  msn:Cplusplus]
[?:x#Person,  swag:isFluentIn,
[?:x#Person,  swag:wantsToWorkOn,
[?:x#Person,  swag:wantsToWorkwith,

And we can send those statements to any Agent that
understands RDF and perhaps that agent will fill in the
variables and send back a reply.    Hey, that's just a
sticky cyber molecule .. see my sig below.

Seth Russell
Received on Saturday, 13 January 2001 15:18:26 UTC

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