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Re: [Editorial] "blank nodes do not denote specific resources"

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 17:12:39 -0400
To: public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1342645959.3486.7882.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Wed, 2012-07-18 at 14:02 -0400, David Booth wrote:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf11-concepts/#resources-and-statements 
> says: "blank nodes do not denote specific resources".  I don't think
> that is quite correct, since a blank node *does* denote a specific
> resource.  It just doesn't give that resource a name that is meaningful
> outside the graph.  I suggest rewording this as "blank nodes do not have
> stable names that can be referenced outside of the graph".

Andy explained off list that this was worded this way to avoid implying
that a bnode implies a unique, identifiable individual, since a bnode is
like an existential variable.  My concern was that it should be clear
that when someone writes (in the same graph):

  _:b1 a :Dog .
  _:b1 :name "Rex" .

both statements (when applied) refer to the *same* (unspecified) dog,
which has (for the purposes of this graph) been called _:b1, though
there may be more than one dog that satisfies these statements.  So I
guess the wording here is tricky, and I'm unsure of how to make it

How about "blank nodes do not indicate unique, identifiable resources"?
Would that be better?  I'm okay with leaving it as is if you think not.

David Booth, Ph.D.

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Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 21:13:07 UTC

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