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RE: silly question about rdf:about

From: Manos Batsis <m.batsis@bsnet.gr>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 17:17:11 +0300
Message-ID: <E657D8576967CF448D6AF22CB42DD2690FF255@ermhs.Athens.BrokerSystems.gr>
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: "Uche Ogbuji" <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>, "Lars Marius Garshol" <larsga@garshol.priv.no>

For an RDF application, something like

http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740

IS the person mentioned but as the application anticipates it.

Similarly, we humans use a name instead of a URI to identify a person;
this identification is just a handle for abstraction.

For an application, Ora is what the system knows about Ora including
static information or history of interaction between Ora and the
application.
For a George,  Ora is what George knows or feels or has connected with
Ora.
For John Doe the same.
However, these three do *not* have the same Ora in mind.

What the above three share in their abstraction of Ora is the same
source of information or interaction, in one way or another. 

We just have to establish that http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740 in our
context is a perfectly valid representation (or representative if you
want) of Ora. It's a problem for the Ontology designer if you may, not
of RDF (ok, one may come up with a new term and that's all).

Ora, my apologies.

Manos




> -----Original Message-----
> From: Miles Sabin [mailto:miles@mistral.co.uk] 
> Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 4:54 PM
> To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> Subject: RE: silly question about rdf:about 
> 
> 
> Uche Ogbuji wrote,
> > Lars Marius Garshol wrote,
> > > I think Nikita is right. If you look at the RDF currently being
> > > published, most of it (if not all), uses http URIs to point to 
> > > things that are not network-retrievable resources.
> >
> > I disagree.  Do you have some citations?  I don't think I've ever 
> > heard an RDF person put up a URI and say "this is a person".  I 
> > don't think I've ever seen the equivalent of this in any RDF 
> > examples, either.
> 
> How about this one from the M+S REC itself,
> 
>   <rdf:RDF>
>     <rdf:Description about="http://www.w3.org/Home/Lassila">
>       <s:Creator rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740"/>
>     </rdf:Description>
> 
>     <rdf:Description about="http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740">
>       <v:Name>Ora Lassila</v:Name>
>       <v:Email>lassila@w3.org</v:Email>
>     </rdf:Description>
>   </rdf:RDF>
> 
> which according to the text in sec. 2.1 is asserting,
> 
>   The individual referred to by employee id 85740 is named 
> Ora Lassila 
>   and has the email address lassila@w3.org. The resource 
>   http://www.w3.org/Home/Lassila was created by this individual.
> 
> IOW, http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740 denotes Ora Lassila, the person.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> 
> Miles
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > So while I agree that there *ought* to be no confusion, I think that
> > in practice there is. This could be fixed by providing 
> convenient and
> > understandable mechanisms for handling this, but current practice
> > seems to be broken.
> >  
> > | But I don't see the confusion.  RFC 1738, which governs the URI
> > | http://uche.ogbuji.net makes it clear that this URI
> > | locates/identifies the document that is retrieved using HTTP and
> > | that address.  Why would anyone thing it represents a person?
> > 
> > Because lots of people use URIs that way.
> 
> Then the confusion is of their own making, not RDF.
> 
> As I said in the nocturne, the uses and meanings of URIs lie 
> at a very 
> different layer from RDF.  Since RDF works (or should work) 
> with URIs as
> they 
> are, this is a problem to be solved in URI, not RDF.  Ans 
> it's a problem
> that 
> goes far beyond RDF.
> 
> Personally, I don't see the problem, which is why I've 
> ditched the long
> recent 
> thread on the issue.  There are specs that govern URIs, and since tose
> specs 
> are not, emm, ontologically closed  :-), URIs end up meaning largely
> what we 
> agree that they mean.  This is quite common, and the human 
> species isn't
> 
> extinct because of such ambiguities.
> 
> I don't think that adding a layer of indirection, as Topic Maps does,
> does a 
> *thing* to change this, or goes a single step beyond RDF in
> disambiuating the 
> meanings of things we are describing.
> 
> 
> > | Maybe I'm just thick, but I just do not come close to 
> understanding
> > | Topic Maps.  There are just too many moving parts interacting in
> > | confusing ways.  I must say, though, from observice the 
> discussiuons
> > | at KT, that I'm not sure anyone really does.
> > 
> > I find this a puzzling statement. To me they are very clear, and it
> > seems to me that most topic mappers feel the same way.
> 
> Then I probably misunderstood the discusson that night.  
> Pardon me.  It
> just 
> seemed to me that there was a lot of cross-clarification 
> going on while 
> discussing TM matters, much of which increased any fog I 
> might have been
> under.
> 
> It's not for me to say what others understand.
> 
> 
> -- 
> Uche Ogbuji                   Principal Consultant     
> Fourthought, Inc.
> uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com   http://Fourthought.com   +1 720 320 2046
> XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management
> Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
> http://www.xmlconference.com/
> Managing structured Web service metadata -
> http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork
> s/webservices/library/ws-wsdlrdf/
> WSDL and the Wild, Wild West - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
> XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 
> http://www.xmleurope.com/2002/kttrack.asp#themodel
> 
> 
> 
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Received on Monday, 15 April 2002 10:17:25 GMT

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