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Re: Terminology Question concerning Web Architecture and Linked Data

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:08:52 +0100
Message-ID: <46A75974.2010001@danbri.org>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Cc: Ed Davies <edavies@nildram.co.uk>, www-tag@w3.org

Mark Baker wrote:
> 
> On 7/25/07, Ed Davies <edavies@nildram.co.uk> wrote:
>> Doesn't "alias" (or owl:sameAs) mean just "refers to
>> the same thing", not "identical for all possible
>> purposes"?
> 
>> From the spec;
> 
> "The built-in OWL property owl:sameAs links an individual to an
> individual. Such an owl:sameAs statement indicates that two URI
> references actually refer to the same thing: the individuals have the
> same "identity"."
>  -- http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-ref/#sameAs-def
> 
> And Merriam Webster defines "alias" as "otherwise called"
>  -- http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/alias
> 
> Both of those say to me that we're talking about the concept of
> different names (URIs) for the same thing (resource).

Correct. One way to make this clear is to ask "how many resources are 
there?". The language of the OWL spec is a bit confusing there, since it 
talks of "two"  individuals.

>>  I don't think two terms being aliases (or
>> owl:sameAs) implies that:
>>
>> 1. they take exactly the same amount of ink to
>>     print in 37 point Arial.
>>
>> 2. they collate in the same order in all languages.
>>
>> 3. they hurt your throat the same amount to say.
>>
>> 4. they are as easy as each other to remember.
> 
> Those are properties of the name itself.  Obviously the names are 
> different.

Yup

>>
>> 5. they are suitable for use in the same
>>     circumstances.
>>
>> 6. they have dictionary definitions which are
>>     word-for-word identical.
> 
> No?  I would expect both of those would hold.  Why wouldn't they?

In RDF, usage suitability can be a property of a name. For example, I 
try not to use names for RDF classes and properties that begin http:// 
and whose domain name does not seem to be paid up for at least 2-3 years.

Dan
Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 14:09:04 GMT

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