W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > August 2001

RE: QNames, semantics, serialization

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 11:40:24 -0700
Message-Id: <v04210102b7b587e5d2bf@[]>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>On Thu, 30 Aug 2001, pat hayes wrote:
> > [...] Really pinning down actual *reference* to *real things* is a
> > very, very  tricky business, one that is way beyond the ability of
> > current semantic theories to analyse, and therefore probably best
> > left aside for now in these discussions.
>Amen! This is however something that Semantic Web (via our use of both
>URIs and of RDF descriptions for identification) will need to
>engage with at some point.

I agree, but be ready for having to do some hard, basic (and 
therefore slow) research. New syntaxes are easy, and model theories 
can be churned out to fit most any reasonable intuitions about 
consistency, but reference is harder.

>Quite how much of the meaning of the URI spec
>can be formalised is a rather interesting question.

Indeed. I think that the move from URLs (which I see as being a kind 
of global file addressing scheme) to URIs (which seem to be intended 
to be a kind of Unicode for Naming) may have felt good, but I think 
will be seen in retrospect as having been a triumph of intellectual 
hubris over rationality.

>While I'm worried by
>the notion that we'll have to pick a favoured theory of reference, I do
>think that the 'reference' aspect to 'meaning' is something we'll need to
>deal with if SW is to fulfill expectations w.r.t. ecommerce etc.

Ecommerce only requires something that works pragmatically. I'm sure 
there are several ways to make the SW work well enough for ecommerce, 
but if the $$ have to wait for a universal theory of reference, the 
investors had better be ready to take a very long view.


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Received on Friday, 31 August 2001 14:39:24 UTC

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