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RE: Lists of tagged strings in RDF

From: William Van Woensel <William.Van.Woensel@Dal.Ca>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2021 17:06:51 +0000
To: "mail@frensjan.nl" <mail@frensjan.nl>
CC: "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <YT1PR01MB2906597C13DA9D4BF3DDABCFD4359@YT1PR01MB2906.CANPRD01.PROD.OUTLOOK.COM>
Hi Jan

Notation3, being an extension of Turtle, supports lists as first-class citizens. This goes beyond syntactic sugar – reasoners invariably implement them as separate data types, and N3 includes various builtins<https://w3c.github.io/N3/ns/list.html> to operate on lists within rules. (Note that N3 lists are still equivalent to RDF lists<https://www.w3.org/TeamSubmission/n3/#lists> if you include some extra axioms.)

For instance:

:frens :name ( [ :givenName "Frens" ]
               [ :givenName "Jan" ]
               [ :familyName "de Vries" ] ) .

# print your family name
{ ?person :name ?l . ?l list:member [ :familyName ?familyName ] } =>
                { ?person :familyName ?familyName } .

Or, if you want to re-construct your full name as a string:

{ ?person :name ?l .
    (?str
     {
               ?l list:member ?member .
               ?member ?predicate ?name .
               (?name " ") string:concatenation ?str
     }
    ?strs) log:collectAllIn _:x .
    ?strs string:concatenation ?fullName

} => { ?person :fullName ?fullName } .

You can try out these examples here: http://ppr.cs.dal.ca:3002/n3/editor/s/aere5ifV



Regards,

William

From: Rumph, Frens Jan <mail@frensjan.nl>
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2021 11:50 AM
To: Martynas Jusevičius <martynas@atomgraph.com>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
Subject: Re: Lists of tagged strings in RDF

CAUTION: The Sender of this email is not from within Dalhousie.
The syntactic sugar list in turtle and sparql is pretty nice. It's the fact that the RDF abstract model has no real support for lists. Querying is a pain if you ask me. The context I'm in doesn't involve a lot of manual writing of RDF data.

I was hoping to find a way that hurts my brain a little less. And I would really like to find a way to ensure that datasets won't contain malformed lists like:

:frens :name _:n1 .
_:n1 rdf:first "Frens" .
_:n1 rdf:first "Jan" .
_:n1 rdf:rest "de Vries" .
The systems I'm targeting won't typically consume manually generated RDF, but there are API's for external users in play ... Perhaps I'll give SHACL a go with dash#ListShape<http://datashapes.org/dash#ListShape>.


On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 12:20 PM Martynas Jusevičius <martynas@atomgraph.com<mailto:martynas@atomgraph.com>> wrote:
Why is the list syntax ( ) not satisfactofy?

On Thu, 10 Jun 2021 at 12.07, Rumph, Frens Jan <mail@frensjan.nl<mailto:mail@frensjan.nl>> wrote:
Dear readers,

I am investigating transitioning an application to use RDF. One roadblock is how this application models names of persons. It supports straight-forward full names as a single string, but also supports decomposed names, e.g. person X has given name *Frens* followed by a second given name *Jan* followed by the family name *Rumph*.

Note that this is a crosspost of https://stackoverflow.com/questions/65982459/rdf-modelling-of-list-of-name-elements<https://stackoverflow..com/questions/65982459/rdf-modelling-of-list-of-name-elements>. I hope to get some more

The data structure is something like:

```java
enum Role {
   ...
   GIVEN_NAME,
   FAMILY_NAME,
   ...
}

record NameElement(role: Role, value: String) {}

record AnnotatedName(NameElement... elements) {}
```

in order to be instantiated like:

```java
var name = new AnnotatedName(
    new NameElement(GIVEN_NAME, "Frens"),
    new NameElement(GIVEN_NAME, "Jan"),
    new NameElement(FAMILY_NAME, "de Vries")
);
```

This allows reconstruction of the name into a string while at the same time expressing the components of the name. So it captures the roles of the elements of a name (e.g. given names, family names) *as well as* their order (given names aren't first everywhere). Also, it allows expressing multiple names. E.g. in multiple languages / scripts. Or even aliases used in different areas of the world.

I have toyed around with some RDF constructs, but none are really satisfactory:

```turtle
# list of strings misusing data types as tags
:frens :name ( "Frens"^^:givenName "Jan"^^:givenName "de Vries"^^:familyName ) .

# list of blank nodes
:frens :name ( [ :givenName "Frens" ]
               [ :givenName "Jan" ]
               [ :familyName "de Vries" ] ) .

# single blank node with unordered 'elements'
:frens :name [ a           :AnnotatedPersonName ;
               :fullName   "Frens Jan de Vries" ;
               :givenName  "Frens" ;
               :givenName  "Jan" ;
               :familyName "de Vries" ] .
```

---

**Existing ontologies for HD names?**
Is there an existing ontology that covers such 'high fidelity'? FOAF and vcard have some relevant properties, but aren't able to capture this level of semantics.

**Lists?** One major 'blocker' in migrating this approach to RDF is the notion of order that is used. If at all possible, I'd like to stay away from the List / Container swamp in RDF land ...

I'd be grateful for any thoughts on the matter!

Best regards,
Frens Jan
Received on Thursday, 10 June 2021 17:08:47 UTC

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