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Re: rdf:value backwards? [was: a few issues...]

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 12:36:49 -0600
Message-Id: <v04210103b6b7142e2d80@[205.160.76.194]>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, connolly@w3.org, sandro@w3.org
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org, www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Peter F. Patel-Schneider:
>From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
>Subject: rdf:value backwards? [was: a few issues...]
>Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2001 21:26:30 -0600
>
> > Sandro Hawke wrote:
> > [...]
> > > 3.  Using the property rdf:value to link from a point in the value
> > >     space (eg 10) to a point in the lexical space (eg "10") seems
> > >     completely backwards.
> >
> > Er... I think I remember how it got to be this way...
> >
> >
> > Since we're deciding whether to invest in the name rdf:value
> > or not, now is a good time to consider alternatives.
> > (I copy www-rdf-comments (a) to record the design
> > rationale for rdf:value as it is, and (b) to provide
> > an alternative should this issue be opened again
> > in the new RDF Core WG).
> >
> > Probably a better choice would be toString, as in
> >
> > [[[
> >  public String toString()
> >
> >      Returns a string representation of the object. In general, the
> > toString method
> >      returns a string that "textually represents" this object.
> > ]]]
> >
> > --        Class java.lang.Object
> > 
>http://java.sun.com/products/jdk/1.1/docs/api/java.lang.Object.html#to 
>String()
>
>If there is going to be a change, then I vote for some short version of
>lexicalRepresentation.

These various choices seem to reflect subtly different attitudes to 
the language and what its expression 'mean'. If one is thinking about 
operations being applied to datastructures, then the :value and 
toString usages both make perfect sense, in slightly different ways. 
If one is thinking about parsing the expressions of the language from 
a kind of meta-perspective, then lexicalRepresentation makes perfect 
sense. (This is like the kind of 'case-grammar' perspective on 
English that would render "John sat on the mat" as "Happening with 
EventType=sat and Subject=John and Object=mat"). But neither of these 
make the expressions just plain *readable*, as though one were using 
the language rather than saying something about it.

This is supposed to be saying that a string  has something as its 
linguistic 'value', but the value comes first. In other words, it's 
saying that the string is a NAME for the thing. So how about 
rdf:nameIs, or (since this is being used with an equality sign which 
conveys the 'is' already) rdf:nameOf or rdf:nameFor ?

Pat Hayes

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Received on Monday, 19 February 2001 13:35:27 GMT

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