W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > July 2001

RE: #rdfms-literals-as-resources in scope?

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 11:46:30 -0700
Message-Id: <v04210107b770fb743076@[]>
To: <bdehora@interx.com>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
>:pat hayes:
>:But further to 2.; while we should not give literals URI's , they are
>:nevertheless resources. Thats all we need to say.
>Ok, so one hand I see the use of the term 'resource' in what I
>affectionately call mumbo jumbo; that would include things we
>call Literals in RDF. On the other hand I see the term used
>as things to be described in RDF via the use of URIs; that does
>not include Literals. Why don't we just have separate terms, say,
>'entity' as you do and then 'Resource' for entities denoted
>by a URI? That way Literals can be entities but not Resources.
>The terms are arbitrary enough: though it seems less expensive
>to change the mumbo usage of 'resource' to 'entity' in the M&S
>document, than search and replace through the standing body of
>RDF on the web.

I would be happy with that, but I didn't think that the terms were 
arbitrary, or that it was in our power to redefine terms like 
'resource'.  I was just reporting on what seems to be the common 
usage in W3C circles.

It may well be that people have been careless in not distinguishing 
between 'having a URI' and 'being the kind of thing that could 
possibly have a URI', or that some people mean one of these and other 
people mean the other. But if so, then this just means that people 
are confused, and that someone is going to have to change their usage 
if we are all going to understand one another. I don't really care 
who does the changing, but I do care that we aren't confused.

Pat Hayes

PS. There is a problem with saying that something is a different kind 
of thing when it is named by a URI; this means that a thing's 
ontological status changes when someone invents a name. So a certain 
star in a distant galalaxy might suddenly become a resource just 
because some astronomer in China puts up something on a website. I 
guess I find this uncomfortable.

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Received on Tuesday, 10 July 2001 14:46:40 UTC

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