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Re: Terminology: How to call "IRI or blank node"?

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfpschneider@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:13:16 -0800
Message-ID: <54B0608C.8050008@gmail.com>
To: Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com>, "public-data-shapes-wg@w3.org" <public-data-shapes-wg@w3.org>

On 01/09/2015 02:52 PM, Holger Knublauch wrote:
> On 1/9/15, 12:40 PM, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
>> This is absolutely counter to the requirement that the working group must
>> use rdfs:Resource in a way that abides by its meaning as defined in the RDF
>> specification.
> Peter,
> I think the situation is not as clear-cut. Using rdfs:Resource in the context
> of :valueType would IMHO be perfectly fine with the RDF specification.
> Look at rdfs:domain for example. The triple
>      ex:property rdfs:domain rdfs:Resource
> means that the domain of ex:property is IRIs or blank nodes- literals are
> excluded because there is *another* rule in RDF which disallows literals to
> appear as subjects in RDF triples.

This it not correct.

> All these semantic rules are conjoined.

That literals cannot appear as the subject of triples does not mean that 
literal values cannot be the first element of pairs in the extension of 
properties.  The rule that literals cannot appear as the subject of triples is 
a syntactic restriction, not a semantic one.

> In
> the same spirit, I see no reason why we cannot add an additional rule that in
> the context of :valueType, the meaning is narrowed down to IRIs or blank
> nodes. As long as we only narrow down the value space, this is IMHO perfectly
> fine.

This is not fine at all, in my opinion.

> Another example is
>      ex:property rdfs:range rdfs:Literal
> According to the RDF Schema spec,
> "The class rdfs:Literal is the class of literal values such as strings and
> integers. Property values such as textual strings are examples of RDF literals."
> Well, this is quite ambiguous. Does this mean that the following is in the range?
>      ex:MyLiteral a rdfs:Literal .
>      ex:MySubject ex:property ex:MyLiteral .

These three triples do not form an inconsistent RDF graph under the RDFS 

> I guess not, because otherwise almost every existing RDF processor is wrong.

These processors may or may not be wrong, but that doesn't affect the 
definition of RDFS.

> However, how can rdfs:Literal then be a class, if it cannot really have
> meaningful instances?

Why do you say that rdfs:Literal cannot be a class?  It has many meaningful 
instances, such as the string "5" and the integer 5.

> So apparently, rdfs:Literal is interpreted differently
> when it is used in the context of rdfs:range.

Not at all.

> Finally, let's not forget that - in addition to remaining as compatible as
> possible to the existing specs - this WG works in unchartered territory in
> which many original RDF design decisions such as the open world assumption are
> no longer valid. Furthermore, the group also has the goal to create a
> user-friendly and intuitive language. The fact that the vast majority of users
> find the current interpretations of rdfs:Resource confusing should encourage
> us to think outside of the box.

The working group is free to set up new concepts if it feels that such are 
necessary.  The working group is not free to change the meaning of things that 
are defined in RDF.

> Regards,
> Holger

Received on Friday, 9 January 2015 23:13:48 UTC

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