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Re: Meaning of URIRefs (new test case, comments on Concepts draft)

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:18:14 -0400
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Cc: sandro@w3.org
Message-id: <3DB87FB6.4050304@research.bell-labs.com>

>Message-Id: <200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org>
>To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com <mailto:pfps@research.bell-labs.com?Subject=Re:%20Meaning%20of%20URIRefs%20%28new%20test%20case,%20comments%20on%20Concepts%20draft%29&In-Reply-To=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E&References=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E>>
>cc: www-rdf-comments@w3.org <mailto:www-rdf-comments@w3.org?Subject=Re:%20Meaning%20of%20URIRefs%20%28new%20test%20case,%20comments%20on%20Concepts%20draft%29&In-Reply-To=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E&References=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E>
>From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org <mailto:sandro@w3.org?Subject=Re:%20Meaning%20of%20URIRefs%20%28new%20test%20case,%20comments%20on%20Concepts%20draft%29&In-Reply-To=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E&References=%3C200210242258.g9OMwY922268@wadimousa.hawke.org%3E>>
>Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 18:58:34 -0400
>Subject: Re: Meaning of URIRefs (new test case, comments on Concepts draft) 
>> I believe that Sandro's position is indefensible.
>Hm.  It's always interesting to see what shape the assault will take.
>> To take a particular example, under his preferred proposal it would be 
>> impossible to talk about  George-Bush-the-lesser without also committing 
>> to the fact that North Korea is a member of the axis of evil, because 
>> this would be one of the facts on the web page for George-Bush-the-lesser.
>No, it would be quite possible.   If you want to talk about GWB you
>have some choices of which URIRef to use.   You're imagining some page
>which talks about GWB and also says North Korea is in the "axis of
>evil".  I can't find such a page in Google, because all the news pages
>quote Bush talking about such an axis rather than asserting themselves
>that it exists.   Nonetheless, there might be such a page, and then
>using a URI like
>   http://whitehouse.example.com/#Bush 
>would in fact be committing you to such a dubious fact.  
>But you're free to use other pages.   You could use 
>   http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/#Bush and be committing to some
>lesser statements, like that in his 2002 State of the Union Address,
>Bush outlines three priorities.
Ah, but this then forces me to use a different URI reference, with no 
way of stating that the resource denoted by this URI reference is the 
same resource that is denoted by the first URI reference.  How can I 
then communicate with anyone who uses the first URI reference to refer 
to George-Bush-the-lesser?

>I expect you, being more-than-competent in the field would chose
>instead some more-formal description involving an ontology of the US
>Govt or of Heads-of-State, and identifying Bush perhaps as the 43rd
>head of the state of the US.   That kind of definition would have very
>few unwanted commitments.
Au contraire.

At the very minimum, it would identify George-Bush-the-lesser as the 
43rd president of the United States.  Suppose that I did not want to 
commit to this fact?  I would be forced to use a yet different URI 
reference, that I could not relate to any of the above URI references.

To take a closer-to-home example, suppose I believe that you are, in 
fact, an alien?  How can I express this in a way that lets others know 
that I am talking about  the Sandro Hawke that is linked to from 

>   -- sandro
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Thursday, 24 October 2002 19:29:01 UTC

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