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Re: Skolemization .well-known prefix: genid --> bnode or blanknode

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:17:28 -0500
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, public-rdf-comments <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Message-Id: <511E2A5E-3880-4CA1-91ED-221D3796330B@ihmc.us>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>

On Jul 18, 2012, at 1:01 PM, David Booth wrote:

> Hi Richard,
> On Wed, 2012-07-18 at 10:13 +0100, Richard Cyganiak wrote:
>> David,
>> On 16 Jul 2012, at 03:52, David Booth wrote:
> [ . . . ]
>>> I suggest changing "genid" to "bnode" or "blanknode".
>> There was a poll between the alternatives "bnode", "genid" and
>> "skolem" here:
>> http://www.w3.org/2011/rdf-wg/meeting/2011-05-25
>> "genid" won. IIRC the argument that carried the day against "bnode"
>> was: "It's not a bnode."
> No, of course it isn't, it's a URI.  But it is *for* a bnode.

No, its not "for" a bnode. It really has nothing to do with the bnode as such. It refers to something that the bnode says exists. The WG decided, I think correctly, that using the phrasing "bnode" in the URI name would be likely to be misunderstood as saying that the URI was something like a bnode, or perhaps was a bnode in disguise, or was a name for the bnode, or something equally misleading and confusing. 

>  My
> website is called http://dbooth.org/ because it is *for* me, not because
> it *is* me.

And the relationship between the skolem IRI and the bnode it is generated to substitute for is nothing at all like the relationship between you and your website. 

> Since the WG has already chosen the name "genid", the WG will have to
> decide whether this input constitutes sufficient grounds to reconsider
> the name.  But I really think the WG will be better helping the
> community by choosing a name that is more clearly suggestive of its
> purpose.

What do you take the "purpose" to be?

>  In debugging and validating sem web applications people
> routinely visually inspect the data, looking at what URIs are used and
> where they came from.  (There may well be other .well-known URIs that
> become widely used in the future, so the fact that a bnode URI is minted
> within .well-known will not necessarily be much of a visual clue.)
> "genid" is a totally generic name that is already used for many other
> purposes.  See for example, Microsoft's GenID object for generating
> globally unique identifiers:

But this is a very similar purpose: generation of a gloabally unique 'new' name.  The term is also used explicilty by Cyc for skolem names, by the way, for exactly this reason. 

> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee796748%28v=cs.10%29.aspx 
> OTOH "bnode" or "blanknode" would not be generic, and would clearly
> correspond directly to established RDF terminology, just as my website
> name *corresponds* to the name of my person and helps people to
> instantly recognize that it is a website *for* me.  
> P.S. A tongue-in-cheek suggestion: the-uri-formerly-known-as-a-bnode  ;)

We actually did consider this for a few seconds. 


> Thanks
> -- 
> David Booth, Ph.D.
> http://dbooth.org/
> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
> reflect those of his employer.

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Received on Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:18:06 UTC

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