W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > October 2000

names, URIs and ontologies

From: Lynn Andrea Stein <las@ai.mit.edu>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 16:10:45 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200010302110.QAA00475@soggy-fibers.ai.mit.edu>
To: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org

I must be missing something here.  I understand your concern to be:

PJH> Allowing public names seems to me to be a no-brainer.

Agreed, and I also understand

Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN writes:
PAC> URIs are actually intended to be public names :

I don't see the problem.

In fact, the stuff on the left side of the # is the "public" portion
of the name (perhaps better called global, though this means something
slightly different) and the stuff on the right hand side of the # is

Now, at any one point in time there is at most one resolution to a
global name (i.e., at most one value returned by a get on that URI).
In addition, the resource addressed by that URI (if it exists) is
responsible for providing (at most one) value for any local names
using that global name as a prefix.

So local names are, as you say, existentially quantified within a
page.  Specifically, they are existentially quantified within the page
named by the local name's global URI prefix.  The are not, in general,
existentially quantified within the REFERRING page.  (Of course, a
local reference within a page may omit any global URI prefix, but then
it is a local reference within the containing and hence also scoping

Global names are not existentially quantified at all; multiple
references (on multiple pages) to the same global URI refer to the
same resource.

Public is, as noted above, somewhat different from global.  Your use
of the phrase public indicates concern for the social conventions
surrounding usage of names.  But the same holds true for URIs.  For
example, there's a name that is socially constrained to be the URI for
the RDF M&S document.  Now, I haven't lately done an http GET on that
URI to determine that M&S is still there, but there's one heck of a
social community that's build around the presumption that that URI
will continue to be a reasonable public name for M&S.  So I'd say
URIs are doing just what you want Boston and other public names to
do.  Of course, there's the minor issue of who gets to decide how to
spell the public names :0)

Received on Monday, 30 October 2000 16:10:46 UTC

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