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RE: Subjects as Literals, [was Re: The Ordered List Ontology]

From: Geoff Chappell <geoff@sover.net>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 07:50:19 -0400
To: "'Pat Hayes'" <phayes@ihmc.us>, "'Axel Rauschmayer'" <axel@rauschma.de>
Cc: "'David Booth'" <david@dbooth.org>, <nathan@webr3.org>, "'Toby Inkster'" <tai@g5n.co.uk>, "'Dan Brickley'" <danbri@danbri.org>, "'Linked Data community'" <public-lod@w3.org>, "'Semantic Web'" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <009301cb1913$95d972c0$c18c5840$@net>


-----Original Message-----
From: semantic-web-request@w3.org [mailto:semantic-web-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Pat Hayes
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 12:47 AM
To: Axel Rauschmayer
Cc: David Booth; nathan@webr3.org; Toby Inkster; Dan Brickley; Linked Data
community; Semantic Web
Subject: Re: Subjects as Literals, [was Re: The Ordered List Ontology]


On Jun 30, 2010, at 3:12 PM, Axel Rauschmayer wrote:

>> Intuitively, I would expect each subject literal to have a unique  
>> identity. For example, I would want to annotate a particular  
>> instance of "abc" and not all literals "abc". Wouldn't the latter  
>> treatment make literals-as-subjects less appealing?
>
>Hmm. Im not sure what this means. Each literal has its own identity,  
>in a sense, but what the literal refers to is the same in each case:  
>every occurrence of "23"^^xsd:number must refer to twenty-three. And  
>since this (the number, not the literal) is what the literal refers  
>to, and so what the RDF which uses the literal is talking about, why  
>does it matter which literal you use to refer to it with?
>
>Maybe what you really need to do is to reify the literal and then talk  
>about that. Then your notion of this literal vs. that literal does  
>make sense, but it bears on the semantics of reification in RDF (or  
>whatever finally takes its place in some future incarnation.)

Just wondering if there is an assumption in the can-subjects-be-literals
debate that the tidy vs. untidy literal question will be revisited? I guess
it's far less of an issue with datatyped literals, but plain literals as
subjects seem to be at best not that useful and at worst encourage usage
that would just be wrong - e.g:

	"Obama" ex:presidentOf ex:USA

where the plain literal "Obama" is used to refer to the person, rather than
the string of characters that it actually refers to. To "fix" rdf to allow
that would seem to be a far greater change than just allowing literals as
subjects.

-Geoff
Received on Thursday, 1 July 2010 11:51:11 UTC

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