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

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 22:24:25 +0100
Message-ID: <50072989.4030501@webr3.org>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
CC: public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
David Booth wrote:
> 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
> clearer.  
> 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.

"blank nodes indicate the existence of a thing, without providing a name 
for that thing."
Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 21:25:05 UTC

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