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Re: Subjects as Literals

From: Ross Singer <rossfsinger@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 21:14:01 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTinG7Dvd5L0xN3hjeklyfyDZ1kPqQept_n_L9E90@mail.gmail.com>
To: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Cc: Robert Sanderson <azaroth42@gmail.com>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
I suppose my questions here would be:

1) What's the use case of a literal as subject statement (besides
being an academic exercise)?
2) Does literal as subject make sense in "linked data" (I ask mainly
from a "follow your nose" perspective) if blank nodes are considered

Question #2 isn't coming from some Linked Data Uber Alles mindset,
merely if this is in public-lod's scope at all...


On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM, Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
> Good post - gets to my (mis?)understanding of what is the problem.
> On 30/06/2010 21:54, "Robert Sanderson" <azaroth42@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have to add my 2 cents here.
>>>> However, if you see some specific harm in permitting statements about
>>>> literals, please tell us what that harm would be.
>> The specific harm that I would see is that statements would be made about
>> literals given some particular context of that literal, rather than in a
>> global scope.
>> For example:
>> "London" rdf:type geo:City
> This seems strange to me.
> I would expect "London" to have a type of string.
>> "London" dcterms:isPartOf "England"
> Again, this seems strange, especially as dcterms says:
> "This term is intended to be used with non-literal values"
> I note with interest the plural of values.
>> That is true only for the particular London which is the capital of England,
>> not London, Texas, London, Ontario or London in Kiribati.
> But the string is not the NIR.
>> Now the global graph gets very confused when the subjects are merged, and this
>> 'London' is in four different countries at once.
> But why does the graph have to merge the subjects because they have the same
> string value, any more than the objects would be merged if they have the
> same string value?
> I agree it is a bit strange to have strings as both subject and object, as
> the graph is not joined up very much, but it is still a bit of graph that
> says something that someone might find interesting.
>> The only globally true statements about literals are rather dull:
>> "London" numberOfCharacters 6
> But is this objection not that same as saying that the only interesting
> thing one can say is
> 6 charactersIn "London" . ?
> Or even
> numbers:six charactersIn "London" .
> Which is similar to
> "London" numberOfCharacters numbers:six
>> "London" firstCharacter "L"
>> For the few use cases where it would be interesting to say something that is
>> globally true about a literal, a URI can easily be assigned. Be that a UUID or
>> an HTTP URI which returns the literal when dereferenced.
> But using literals as objects is also saying things that are true of
> literals.
> Cheers
>> Rob Sanderson
>> Los Alamos National Laboratory
Received on Thursday, 1 July 2010 01:14:30 UTC

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