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Re: Comments on ioctl (was: Re: big issue (2001-09-28#13))

From: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 16:31:03 +0100 (BST)
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.31.0110081627130.5496-100000@mail.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>
On Fri, 5 Oct 2001, Pat Hayes wrote:

> >I've been thinking along very similar lines. See
> >http://ioctl.org/rdf/literals
> >which has a mix of related ideas, some good, some bad, some wrong.
> Let me pick up on one of them and chew on it: the idea that a literal
> is a self-denoting entity. This is a very appealing idea, and it
> works for strings, but I don't think it can be made to work (without
> modification) for any other kinds of literal.  In particular, one of
> your examples is 'the number 12'. But numbers are denoted by
> numerals, not numbers; numerals, not numbers, are the syntactic
> labels that we use to label graph nodes. So I take it that the
> intention in treating '12' as a "literal number" is in fact that the
> *numeral* '12' is the literal, and that its interpretation is fixed
> to be the number 12 (that is, the number whose prime factors are 2,2
> and 3; the square root of 144; denoted variously by the numerals '12'
> in decimal, '1100' in binary, and '14' in octal). But in none of
> these cases is the numerical literal *identical* to its
> interpretation.

Actually, I had a stronger notion, which was that conceptually, the
number (not a numeral representation) should be the "label" in a graph.

	(Forgive an argument by analogy, but
	We accept concepts like "the set { 1, 2, 3 }" which is
	conceptually a set of numbers, not numerals)

So it really _is_ the number 1 labelling a node in the graph.

However, any concrete realisation of such an RDF graph must, of course,
use a representation (be it numeral or otherwise); this is true whether
it's an "RDF database" or an "RDF/XML serialisation". If it makes any
sense, I'd like to separate the two notions.


jan grant, ILRT, University of Bristol. http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
Tel +44(0)117 9287088 Fax +44 (0)117 9287112 RFC822 jan.grant@bris.ac.uk
Talk is cheap: free, as in beer. As in Real Ale, not that Budweiser rubbish.
Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 11:33:59 UTC

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