W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > August 2012

RE: A radical proposal. (was: Re: new names for g-box, g-snap)

From: Markus Lanthaler <markus.lanthaler@gmx.net>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 11:39:10 +0200
To: "'Pat Hayes'" <phayes@ihmc.us>, "'Sandro Hawke'" <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: "'W3C RDF WG'" <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00d801cd7eb7$a7d0db10$f7729130$@lanthaler@gmx.net>
On Friday, August 17, 2012 6:21 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:

> Maybe we should look at how other contexts handle this issue. After
> all, the contrast between a labile thing and its state is pretty
> universal. Take a vanilla web page, for example, 
> [...]
> So web pages (in fact, all
> information resources identifed by URIs; I would hazard a guess) are
> all state-bearing entities rather than a bunch of stuff in one of their
> states. But, as I say, other communities seem to take this in their
> stride.

I fully agree with this. Looking at it from a REST perspective basically all
you can do is to exchange representations (the current state) of resources.
As soon as you receive that representation it might already be outdated.

> Perhaps we should not define a graph to BE a set, but rather define it
> to be any RDF document or structure which *parses* to a set. So we keep
> the idea of the set-based abstract syntax, but we morph the terminology
> to be more in line with the way most of the world actually speaks and
> thinks.


> Under this proposal (which, to emphasise, is purely one of terminology,
> not actual content) we would say that an RDF/XML or an Ntriples
> document actually *is* an RDF graph.

Well, to be clear, it is a representation of an RDF graph, isn't it?

> And when a URI resolves to such a
> thing, we say that it resolves to a graph; and when people talk of
> adding triples to a graph, we smile benignly instead of throwing a
> hissy fit. (Of course, this changes the graph: it is now a different
> graph, once one has made a change to it: but still, it is a graph.) And
> now the labile/fixed contrast becomes a fairly standard and easy-to-
> accept contrast between things that are allowed to change and things
> that, for some reason, are not, instead of being a contrast between two
> fundamentally different *kinds* of thing. And then the only people who
> need to talk about mathematical sets at all, would be people checking
> that parsers work properly.


> It would take us a while to get used to this change, but I think that
> once we had gotten used to it, we and everyone else would feel a great
> sense of relief. And Richard and myself would have to rewrite parts of
> the Concepts and Semantics text, but again I dont think it would be
> very difficult.
> Comments?

I really like this proposal as it brings the terminology much closer to
other Web architecture terminology... I think it would be well worth the

Markus Lanthaler
Received on Monday, 20 August 2012 09:39:39 UTC

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