W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

Re: silly question about rdf:about

From: Nikita Ogievetsky <nogievet@cogx.com>
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 22:42:04 -0400
Message-ID: <023101c1dea6$f83e3b90$0e01a8c0@t8000>
To: "Uche Ogbuji" <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Cc: "Seth Russell" <seth@robustai.net>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>

> And let me re-iterate that I disagree with this.  Eric Prud'hommeaux said
> same thing, so I'm rather frightened a practice of this might be forming.
> The straw man is that RDF uses http://uche.ogbuji.net to represent the
> "Uche Ogbuji".  All the discussion about "published subjects", and odd
> with unambiguousProperty seem to be solutions to this supposed problem.
> But I don't see why anyone thinks that RDF says http://uche.ogbuji.net
> the person.

If anybody thinks that way then it is not me.
What I am saying is that given a statement like this:

http://uche.ogbuji.net :characteristics :very-interesting

will leave many people puzzled whether I mean that you are a very
interesting person or
that your website is definitely worth looking at. :-)

> I also don't see what is special about a published subject
> identifier that makes it an acceptable stand-in for the person.

I do not believe that anybody can be "made" to believe that one PSI is more
acceptable than another.
(May be in one of the Orwell's nightmares...)
It is totally your choice.
How about adding to the bill of rights the freedom to choose of a PSI :-)
For example, as it was discussed somewhere else, companies large like Getty,
KODAK, etc.
can decide to use their own geographical PSIs, while others can stick to ISO

> If enough people agree that urn:folks:uche.ogbuji.net is an acceptable
> published subject identifier for "Uche Ogbuji", then they have already
done all
> the work RDF needs to take advantage of this in description of the person.

Well... what is the critical mass of "enough" ? When "enough" is enough?

> I don't see that Topic Maps gains anything with this built-in indirection,
> except one of the most complex data models I have ever seen for a
> language (puts CIM to shame, I must say).

The gain is in avoiding confusing situations like the one that I mentioned
I also do not see how this makes data model complex.
For one it allows equal use of more then one PSI for a topic so that
people speaking about a topic indicated by "urn:folks:uche.ogbuji.net"
and people speaking about a topic indicated by "http://uche.ogbuji.net" will
understand each other.
And people speaking about 404 errors at "http://uche.ogbuji.net" will not
( I ma getting a "Not Found" message)

> This is *not* a flame on Topic Maps.  TM has things that RDF desperately
> needs, such as scopes and merging, but I don't think that the
> subject/occurrence (or whatever) distinction is one of the things RDF

Well there are other things too...

Received on Sunday, 7 April 2002 22:43:12 UTC

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