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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:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-awwsw/2011Jun/0006.html 

[ . . . ]

> 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.
http://dbooth.org/

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

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