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

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 14:48:05 +0100
Message-ID: <50081015.5020105@webr3.org>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
CC: Eric Prud'hommeaux <eric@w3.org>, public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
David Booth wrote:
> On Thu, 2012-07-19 at 07:13 -0400, Eric Prud'hommeaux wrote:
>> * Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> [2012-07-18 22:24+0100]
>>> 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."
>> +1
>>
>> doesn't get involved in assumptions of uniqueness which exist at the
>> graph-level (e.g. SPARQL) but not in RDF-Entailment or OWL.
> 
> The only problem is that that phrasing says that the blank node does not
> have a name, when _:b1 obviously *is* a name, it just isn't a *stable*
> name.  Maybe say ". . . without providing a *stable* name for that
> thing"?

_:b1 isn't a name, it's an artefact of the serialization, just as [] 
isn't a name, and the <>'s aren't part of the IRI.
Received on Thursday, 19 July 2012 13:48:51 UTC

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