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Re: 'primary' in primer

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 16:48:02 -0600
Message-Id: <p05111b24ba1accba1b99@[]>
To: fmanola@mitre.org
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

>pat hayes wrote:
>>  I forgot to mention. You used the term 'primary value' to refer to
>>  the value of rdf:value (if you see what I mean), and I avoided it
>>  deliberately because in this context particularly it might suggest to
>>  someone with a DB background that rdf:value was being used to
>>  indicate a primary field in a DBS, and nothing could be wronger.  I
>>  havnt checked whether or not you follow this usage elsewhere in the
>>  primer.
>(minor point)
>I have a database background and I wasn't confused (nothing like a large
>sample size to prove a point!).

You werent confused because you WROTE it. Everything I write seems 
transparently obvious to me at the time I write it, but I can't 
understand it the next day.

>I think the database term you have in mind is "primary key" rather than
>"primary field"

Yes, whoops, sorry. (Im NOT a DB person....)

>, and we've never suggested anything like "key-ness" of
>values in any of this discussion (A "key" is a unique identifier;  a
>"primary key" is selected from among the possible "candidate keys" to
>identify rows in a relational table; a row in one table might identify a
>specific row in another table using a "foreign key".  Note that all
>these involve using various adjectives on "key".  I'm not familiar with
>"primary field").  However, if people think it'll be a problem we can
>change it to "main" (as you did in your rewrite).

I know we havnt said anything explicitly, but I bet that any DB guy 
would feel right at home reading your explanation of how to handle 
more-than-binary relations, thinking happily about 'complex values' 
as DB rows, and to throw 'primary' at him at that point with no 
warning is a low blow, seems to me. Particularly in that example, 
where one might, just, at a stretch, think that the weight of a tent 
could be the primary key.


>Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
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Received on Monday, 9 December 2002 17:48:30 UTC

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