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Re: Properties not predicates (was Re: PRIMER: draft data model section)

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 12:22:22 -0500
Message-Id: <p05101061b7fca85774b5@[]>
To: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
>I understood the point Brian was making (that what we call the 
>middle component of the triple is one thing, and the kind of thing 
>it *is* is something else;  that's why I referred to "overloading" 
>in my earlier message on this subject), but it's not clear we've yet 
>arrived at a satisfactory resolution.  The point is, if "predicate" 
>is a misleading term to use in referring to the thing, ought we to 
>continue to use it?

I take it that we are kind of stuck with it for the grammatical 
category as it is built into RDF syntax as rdf:Predicate. I think 
that as long as we use it along with 'subject' and 'object' only as a 
kind of syntax-technical term for the middle part of a triple, and 
take care not to say that the things in the domain - the things 
denoted - *are* predicates, this will be fine. After all, we can say 
that John is the subject of the sentence 'John loves Mary', but it 
would seem odd to categorize him as being a subject rather than a 
human being on that basis.


>Brian McBride wrote:
>>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>>>I support this as a change in specification prose.
>>>>Please note there is an RDF property named "predicate"; it's used in
>>>>reification. Changing that is a different matter.
>>>Yes, I just remembered this myself, and agree that would be a 
>>>different matter altogether. I think I now follow Brian's earlier 
>>>message. The idea would be that subject/predicate/object are 
>>>grammatical categories for the parts of a triple, but the actual 
>>>thing indicated by the predicate - the thingie in the middle - is 
>>>called a property, right?
>>That is my interpretation of current usage.  So in an api, I have:
>>   stmt.getSubject()
>>   stmt.getPredicate()
>>   stmt.getObject()
>>to deconstruct a statement.
>>   stmt.getResource
>>does not make sense.
>Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
>202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
>mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875

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Received on Wednesday, 24 October 2001 13:22:26 UTC

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