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

Re: universal languages

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 16:48:26 -0000
Message-ID: <014d01c08f93$97fbcd00$01db93c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Dan Brickley" <danbri@w3.org>, "pat hayes" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, "Aaron Swartz" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Cc: <timbl@w3.org>, <horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk>, <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
> What I don't see the reasoning behind is the insistence that
> URI's should be used to name *everything*.

So what's the alternative: string literals? But there is no control over
string literals, there is no agremment on what "my uncles left thumb" is.
But if you give that a URI, you are asserting a particular context for
which that can be used. In other words, if I use that URI, you can define
it as meaning your uncles left thumb, but only in the context of whatever
tools you are using that namespace with. I think there is some confusion
between machine processability and natural language here: there are
*limits* to what machine processing can do. The whole point for using URIs
is that they are decentralized; anyone can set one up. While it is true
that you can't use URIs to represent everything, you can use them to name
anything which is namable.

Maybe Aaron can explain this a little bit better than I.

> (its a bit like insisting that HTML consist of nothing but URL's,
> with no actual text allowed),

You mean like DanC's research notebooks? (sorry, couldn't resist!).
Actually, I like those notebooks.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
[ :name "Sean B. Palmer" ] :hasHomepage <http://infomesh.net/sbp/> .
Received on Monday, 5 February 2001 11:51:20 UTC

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