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

Re: Meaning of URIRefs

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 16:36:52 -0500
Message-Id: <p05111b0db9df68f27168@[]>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

>  > >The way around these problems is to split definitional content and
>>  >general content into different documents.
>>  The trouble with this kind of reply is that it requires all web users
>>  to obey unspoken and hard-to-define rules of good behavior.  Note
>>  that you, Sandro, were at pains to explain in your earlier message
>>  that 'definitional' didn't have any sharp meaning. A very good point;
>>  but then it is hardly reasonable to immediately require that all web
>>  users segregate their content into documents according to whether or
>>  not they satisfy this meaningless distinction.
>>  BUt more seriously, we can SAY things like this all we want, but
>>  people will not in fact do it. Are you going to try to tell, say,
>>  Nokia, that they must segregate all their RDF content into different
>>  documents according to whether or not they are considered
>>  'definitional'? They would (correctly) laugh at you.
>(There's some lag in this message chain, so perhaps I've already
>addressed this to your satisfaction.  But I'll err on the verbose
>I can suggest to Nokia that if they segregate their data carefully,
>they will be facilitating use and reuse of the data.  It's not unlike
>HTML web sites, where there is ongoing tension between
>lazy/short-sited design and good design, where good design has all
>sort of benefits which may not be immediately obvious.
>The segregation into definitional and non-definitional triples is
>certainly an art, but perhaps it's not as black as it seems.  DAML
>users don't seem to have much trouble distinguishing between ontologies
>and instance data.

Well, if you define 'instance data' in the usual way, then 
'ontologies' just means everything else. But let me ask you: consider 
the DAML-S time ontology. In there you will find some ground facts 
about the number of days in each month, for example. Is that instance 
data? It sure *looks* like instance data, but the ontology wouldnt 
work without it. Or look in CYC and se if you can tell me which parts 
are ontology and which parts are instance data.

>I haven't seen a lot of URIRefs pointing into
>instance data from other instance data, and I'm not sure what exactly
>people intend when they do that. 
>Does someone have some real uses cases where this segregation does NOT
>seem like good information architecture?

See above. In any case, I want something better than 'good practice'. 
Tell me what the distinction means and I might be willing to take it 
seriously. So far Ive never seen a sensible definition of 
'definition' that is of any real use.


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Received on Friday, 25 October 2002 17:36:59 UTC

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