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Re: Information Resources? (naming things on the Web)

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 09:37:17 +0100
To: "Jon Hanna" <jon@hackcraft.net>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f5bacvuwon6.fsf@erasmus.inf.ed.ac.uk>

"Jon Hanna" <jon@hackcraft.net> writes:

> Looking at the document at
> <http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~ht/webpropernames/index.html>:
> "Having done this, I know at a glance if the page is actually about the
> Eiffel Tower, or a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, as opposed to the
> object-oriented programming language Eiffel, or the film The Lavender
> Hill Mob, and so on. Yet this knowledge depends on fundamental aspects
> of human intelligence such as language understanding, scene recognition
> and so forth, which have proved distressingly resistant to automation."
> rdf:type

Note the 'at a glance' above.  The relevant aspect of the WPN proposal
here is that it should be possible to determine certain key things
about a URI _from the URI itself_.

> "http://www.w3.org/People/thompson/
>  http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator
> http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
> "
> This is an unusual way of expressing RDF triples, in particular it makes
> the difference between use and mention of URIs unclear.

. . .
> <http://www.w3.org/People/thompson/>
> <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator> <http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/>
> .

I wasn't aware of an agreed form for triples -- your form looks fine

> Which means that the entity identified by
> <http://www.w3.org/People/thompson/> was created by the entity
> identified by <http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/>. If the first entity is a
> (conceptual or otherwise) document about Henry S. Thompson's and
> <http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/> is Henry S. Thompson then this may well
> be true. If either the former is Henry S. Thompson or the latter is a
> document then this is not true.

Precisely.  Our contention is simply that it should be possible to
distinguish _in the relevant URIs themselves_ whether the intended
referent is "in the Web" or "denoted by something in the Web".

> "In the context of the Web, there is clearly a non-arbitrary, although
> not strictly necessary, relationship between the descriptive terms and
> whatever the recovered web pages denote. Insofar as we've hinted that a
> Web Proper Name is a collection of search terms, this analogy is
> encouraging, particularly because the first step, from search terms to
> URIs, is automated and distributed."
> I'm not convinced the connection is strong enough to be usefully
> reliable.

That's an empirical question -- we'll find out.

 Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
                     Half-time member of W3C Team
    2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
            Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                   URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
[mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]
Received on Monday, 13 September 2004 08:37:22 UTC

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