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an answer to the datatype question, plus a rationale

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 07:14:52 -0400
To: www-rdf-logic@w3.org, www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Message-Id: <20020713071452F.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>

I wasn't going to answer the datatype question, because of its many flaws,
but I decided to given *an* answer.  This may not be my final answer on the
subject, as it assumes a different reading of literals than any currently
under consideration by the RDF Core Working Group.  

I believe that the most important thing to get right is the *treatment* of
literals.  This may result in different answers to A and D, and even
different potentially different kinds of answers to A and D.  I am
providing the answer below partly to show that a different reading of
literals can change the answer to the question.


Under a treament of literals that has a literal denote a set, namely
(potentially a superset of) the set of data values that some datatype maps
the literal to, the answer to A is YES.  The technical answer to D is NO,
but the real answer to D is YES, in that the denotation of _:a is a
(probably a singleton) subset of the denotation of "10", and thus _:a and
"10" are `the same,' under a reasonable reading for `the same.'

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Saturday, 13 July 2002 07:15:00 UTC

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