Re: Ambiguous names. was: Re: URL +1, LSID -1

As EricJ's recent note confirmed, and as I suspected, the problem  
goes substantially deeper than the issue of simply punning the record  
and the protein class.

The fundamental problem is that the record, having not been designed  
as the definition of something, isn't the *unambiguous* definition of  

I think this illustrates that that the principal of distinguishing,  
as separate URIs, the name of the record from the name of the thing,  
will prove to be a useful principle to adopt as a recommended  
practice. If forcing people to separately define them prevents an  
ambiguity from being introduced in even a few percent of the cases,  
then it will be worth the cost. If past experience is anything to go  
on, I'm guessing the fraction of cases where this happens will be  
substantially higher.


On Jul 16, 2007, at 9:31 AM, Eric Neumann wrote:

> Alan,
> the life science community has for years applied an implicit  
> transitivity to records of things, so that when many say:
> " is expressed only in  
> species homo sapien"
> they usually imply that "the protein referenced by  
> datarecord: is expressed only  
> in species homo sapien"
> I am not arguing for or against this "short-cut", but it is what it  
> is, and certainly can be handled adding certain logic rules to  
> dealing with datarecords and their content.
> Consider that it may be impossible to change the non-software part  
> of the LS community on how they think about records vs. conceptual  
> entities that exist in the real-world (non-IR).
> Eric
> On Jul 16, 2007, at 12:45 AM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>> On Jul 15, 2007, at 1:53 PM, Eric Jain wrote:
>>>> Yes, but what sorts of statements can be made using http:// 
>>>> as the subject? Because it can  
>>>> mean any of the below, even the protein class itself, how can a  
>>>> *semantic web* statement be made using it?
>>> is meant to be used for  
>>> anything that isn't tied to a specific representation, hoped that  
>>> would be clear?
>> There are proteins, and there are records about proteins. Records  
>> come in different formats. If I make a statement using this url,  
>> is is about the record? or the protein? How should the agent come  
>> to know?
>> -Alan
> Eric Neumann, PhD
> Senior Strategist, Teranode Corporation
> W3C co-chair Healthcare and Life Sciences Interest Group
> MIT Fellow, Science Commons
> +1 781 856 9132

Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 05:24:18 UTC