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Re: Again: Anonymous Resources

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 12:37:01 -0600
To: Lee Jonas <lee.jonas@cakehouse.co.uk>, "'Stefan Kokkelink'" <skokkeli@mathematik.uni-osnabrueck.de>
CC: RDF interest group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B6CD1EA7.24791%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Lee Jonas <lee.jonas@cakehouse.co.uk> wrote:

> IMHO *anonymous* means "without a name".

Yes, but the question is when. Newborn animals often don't have a name, but
we often give them one. Does that mean they're all anonymous? Anonymous
resources could also be seen as the naming of something without a name.
> I believe the intention of the RDF spec is that anonymous resources are
> useful within the document fragment they are used, and are not referable
> outside of that scope.

I wouldn't argue with that interpretation.

> If that is the behaviour you want, you would have to specify a "name" (i.e.
> URI) and it would no longer be anonymous.  Hence I believe that the mere act
> of describing anonymous resources does _not_ give them a name.

But there is a subtle difference here: whether something has a name which
others can use (i.e. so my documents can go in and talk about anonymous
resources in your document), which I don't believe exists; and whether
something has a name which can be used internally (i.e. by the RDF
processor) and thus be returned by the parser as a resource with a URI.

The second question is how they are returned? As a generated fragid, like
SiRPAC does? As a large, unique, random number in some special namespace?
With a property that states they are anonymous? Etc.

Let's be careful about the destinction,

[ Aaron Swartz | me@aaronsw.com | http://www.aaronsw.com ]
Received on Thursday, 8 March 2001 13:36:59 UTC

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