W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > June 2011

Re: Squaring the HTTP-range-14 circle [was Re: Schema.org in RDF ...]

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:17:49 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Jason Borro <jason@openguid.net>
Message-ID: <1308691069.2165.66506.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Sat, 2011-06-18 at 23:05 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:
> Really (sorry to keep raining on the parade, but) it is not as simple
> as this. Look, it is indeed easy to not bother distinguishing male
> from female dogs. One simply talks of dogs without mentioning gender,
> and there is a lot that can be said about dogs without getting into
> that second topic. But confusing web pages, or documents more
> generally, with the things the documents are about, now that does
> matter a lot more, simply because it is virtually impossible to say
> *anything* about documents-or-things without immediately being clear
> which of them - documents or things - one is talking about. And there
> is a good reason why this particular confusion is so destructive.
> Unlike the dogs-vs-bitches case, the difference between the document
> and its topic, the thing, is that one is ABOUT the other. This is not
> simply a matter of ignoring some potentially relevant information (the
> gender of the dog) because one is temporarily not concerned with it:
> it is two different ways of using the very names that are the fabric
> of the descriptive representations themselves. It confuses language
> with language use, confuses language with meta-language. It is like
> saying giraffe has seven letters rather than "giraffe" has seven
> letters. 

I don't think that analogy holds.  I don't think this is any sort of
meta-language confusion.  I agree that (for many applications) documents
are more semantically distant from dogs than female dogs are from male
dogs, but I see that as merely a difference of degree -- and one that is
application dependent -- and not of kind.  Semantically, they are all
just relations, and some of these relations are important to some
applications, and others to others:

  :x ex:isPrimarySubjectOf :d .
  :y ex:isSecondarySubjectOf :d .
  :m ex:isOppositeSexOf :f .

To my mind, those all look pretty similar in nature.  

> Maybe this does not break Web architecture, but it certainly breaks
> **semantic** architecture. 

I don't think that's true.  But I think my comments will get a bit
deeper into semantic web architectural issues than will interest most
LOD readers, so I've moved my explanation to the AWWSW list instead:

[ . . . ]

> So far, http-range-14 is the only viable suggestion I have seen for
> how to do this. If anyone has a better one, let us discuss it. But
> just blandly assuming that it will all come out in the wash is a bad
> idea. It won't. 

I agree with both of these sentiments though.

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 21:18:23 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:29:54 UTC