W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > September 2003

Re: relationship of rdfs:Literal to rdfs:Resource

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 09:45:04 -0400
Message-Id: <200309141345.h8EDj4VG004645@roke.hawke.org>
To: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Cc: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org


> To understand this, you need to be clear about the distinction between a 
> "literal" or a "URI reference", which are syntactic parts of an RDF graph, 
> and the things they denote (in some interpretation), which are resources in 
> the domain of discourse.

To put it much simpler in the form of an analogy:

   #include <stdio>
   main() {
     char *msg = "Hello, World";
     int x = 5;
     printf("Message: %s, Number: %d\n", msg x);
   }

Think of URIs (URIRefs) as being like msg and x; they are identifiers,
names for things.  They happen to have web-wide scope, instead of
compilation-unit-wide scope, so we give them much bigger names.

RDF Literals are like the two strings there ("Hello, World" and
"Message: %s, Number: %d\n"); they are basically names for things, but
we think of the things they name as the things themselves.  "Hello"
*is* the string "Hello".   msg is a name which we can use for the
string "Hello, World", but we could have used it to name anything.

      -- sandro
Received on Sunday, 14 September 2003 09:45:24 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:52:02 GMT