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

Re: names, URIs and ontologies

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 12:21:31 -0600
Message-Id: <v04210103b624bacb6ce9@[]>
To: Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>I'm not sure I get your point :
>URIs are actually intended to be public names :
>URLs are public names for pieces of data/online services,
>URIs are an extension of URLs, supposedly extensible so that the 
>same syntax can express any kind of URI.

Maybe I am being misled by my ignorance of what exactly can count as 
an URI. So far, I think without exception, every example I have ever 
seen of an URI has been a URL, in fact, so I am treating the two 
ideas as indistinguishable as a working hypothesis until I see some 
evidence to the contrary. Certainly in DAML use, the URI# prefixes 
are always URLs, since they identify the page containing a DAML 

>The ideal URI for boston would be
>  city:/USA/Massachusets/Boston
>It assumes that the "city:" scheme is commonly agreed on,
>but any kind of public name has to do that agreement assumption.

But what is the mechanism by which one makes such an agreement? Does 
one have to register the agreement at Agreement Hall?

>It may look cumbersome to write such a long name for Boston, and I 
>agree with Pat Hayes that a web logic could accept ambiguities, as 
>natural language does. So I guess that the following ambiguous URIs 
>could be used too :
>  city:Boston -- ambiguous with Boston (UK)
>or even
>  named:Boston -- ambiguous with Boston (UK) and Ralh Boston 
>(olympic champion, 1939-)

Great example.

>The URIs abo
>The problem you raise doesn't come, IMO, from URIs themselves -- it 
>is easy to imagine new kinds of URIs -- but from the fact that URI 
>schemes do not exist yet to describe cities or persons, and that web 
>logics need them already.

Yes, this seems like the key issue, I agree. But I think we need some 
mechanism which allows namespaces to be created by communities.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Tuesday, 31 October 2000 14:10:43 UTC

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