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Re: Why RDF? was: ISSUE-160: Allowing collections in semantic relationships

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 11:15:15 +0100
Message-ID: <494F68B3.3090208@danbri.org>
To: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>
Cc: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>, "public-swd-wg@w3.org" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, "public-esw-thes@w3.org" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

On 16/12/08 17:57, Ed Summers wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 10:51 AM, Leonard Will
> <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>  wrote:
>> But if it is just for publication and exchange, why bother putting it into
>> an RDF framework? There are various simpler formats that have been used in
>> the past for the exchange of thesaurus data. I thought that the point of RDF
>> was to make it amenable to machine reasoning.
>> From my perspective the really powerful thing that SKOS provides as a
> semantic web application are web identifiers (URIs) for concepts.
> Minting URIs for your concept schemes and concepts allows them to be
> referenced and resolved easily. This allows descriptions of resources
> to unambiguously use SKOS concepts, while also providing a means for
> mapping concepts from different concept schemes together.

I found a nice citation for this idea of named concepts in a linked 
information system:

	In http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html
	Information Management: A Proposal
	Tim Berners-Lee, CERN
	March 1989, May 1990

The problem with keywords

Keywords are a common method of accessing data for which one does not 
have the exact coordinates. The usual problem with keywords, however, is 
that two people never chose the same keywords. The keywords then become 
useful only to people who already know the application well.

Practical keyword systems (such as that of VAX/NOTES for example) 
require keywords to be registered. This is already a step in the right 
direction. A linked system takes this to the next logical step. Keywords 
can be nodes which stand for a concept. A keyword node is then no 
different from any other node. One can link documents, etc., to 
keywords. One can then find keywords by finding any node to which they 
are related. In this way, documents on similar topics are indirectly 
linked, through their key concepts. A keyword search then becomes a 
search starting from a small number of named nodes, and finding nodes 
which are close to all of them.

It was for these reasons that I first made a small linked information 
system, not realising that a term had already been coined for the idea: 



Received on Monday, 22 December 2008 10:15:55 UTC

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