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Re: Ambiguity of "RDF namespace" - was: Re: Contradicting definitions of "property"

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 12:43:44 -0400
To: Thomas Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, RDF Working Group WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1337013824.3256.193.camel@waldron>
On Wed, 2012-05-09 at 17:53 -0400, Thomas Baker wrote:
> > > I accept the analogy, but I'm unsure what you mean by "most of the
> > > sequences in the namespace" not having referents.  If you mean
> "potential
> > > sequences" then of course that is true.  But "namespace," as I see
> it being
> > > used, implies a set of IRIs explicitly "declared" by the
> namespace's
> > > "owner."  
> > 
> > Well, that's not the way I see it. I understand a namespace as the
> set of
> > *all* IRIs starting with the namespace IRI.
> That seems awfully theoretical, at odds with existing usage of
> "namespace",
> sloppy and inconsistent though it may be. 

I hear both senses of "namespace" used within the RDF community.

  1.  A namespace is a container for a set of short names which would be
ambiguous but are disambiguated when used in the context of that
container.  This is the general (non-RDF) meaning of namespace, and it
applies fine here, too.   In RDF there is a 1-1 correspondence between
namespace IRIs and namespaces, and the namespace IRI is *not* the "name"
of the namespace.

  2.  A namespace is an infinite set of possible strings from which one
could pick a name.   See, for instance:
http://www.w3.org/wiki/NamespaceSquatting .  Fortunately, that problem
seems to have mostly been addressed, so it's not talked about much any

The sense are closely related, of course, but as you note, when you're
thinking closely about one, it can be jarring to come across the other.

     -- Sandro
Received on Monday, 14 May 2012 16:43:58 UTC

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