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Re: silly question about rdf:about

From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002 21:07:18 -0600
Message-Id: <200204080307.g3837Jn03741@localhost.localdomain>
To: "Nikita Ogievetsky" <nogievet@cogx.com>
cc: "Seth Russell" <seth@robustai.net>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org, "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>
Hi, Nikita.  I must say that if anyone help make me understand this, you can.

> > And let me re-iterate that I disagree with this.  Eric Prud'hommeaux said
> the
> > same thing, so I'm rather frightened a practice of this might be forming.
> >
> > The straw man is that RDF uses http://uche.ogbuji.net to represent the
> person
> > "Uche Ogbuji".  All the discussion about "published subjects", and odd
> tricks
> > with unambiguousProperty seem to be solutions to this supposed problem.
> >
> > But I don't see why anyone thinks that RDF says http://uche.ogbuji.net
> *is*
> > the person.
> If anybody thinks that way then it is not me.
> What I am saying is that given a statement like this:
> http://uche.ogbuji.net :characteristics :very-interesting
> will leave many people puzzled whether I mean that you are a very
> interesting person or
> that your website is definitely worth looking at. :-)

It shouldn't leave least bit puzzled.  It is obviously talking aboout the Web 
site, not the person.

> > If enough people agree that urn:folks:uche.ogbuji.net is an acceptable
> > published subject identifier for "Uche Ogbuji", then they have already
> done all
> > the work RDF needs to take advantage of this in description of the person.
> Well... what is the critical mass of "enough" ? When "enough" is enough?

This depends on the use and the users.  In come cases, only one person need be 
involved.  In others, all RDF users must agree (e.g. agreement on how to treat 

> > I don't see that Topic Maps gains anything with this built-in indirection,
> > except one of the most complex data models I have ever seen for a
> description
> > language (puts CIM to shame, I must say).
> The gain is in avoiding confusing situations like the one that I mentioned
> above.

But I don't see the confusion.  RFC 1738, which governs the URI 
http://uche.ogbuji.net makes it clear that this URI locates/identifies the 
document that is retrieved using HTTP and that address.  Why would anyone 
thing it represents a person?

> I also do not see how this makes data model complex.

Maybe I'm just thick, but I just do not come close to understanding Topic 
Maps.  There are just too many moving parts interacting in confusing ways.  I 
must say, though, from observice the discussiuons at KT, that I'm not sure 
anyone really does.

> For one it allows equal use of more then one PSI for a topic so that
> people speaking about a topic indicated by "urn:folks:uche.ogbuji.net"
> and people speaking about a topic indicated by "http://uche.ogbuji.net" will
> understand each other.
> And people speaking about 404 errors at "http://uche.ogbuji.net" will not
> interfere.
> ( I ma getting a "Not Found" message)
> :-))

Really?  works from here, and http://validator.w3.org/ finds it OK as well 
(even though it finds it invalid: I'll look into this).

> > This is *not* a flame on Topic Maps.  TM has things that RDF desperately
> > needs, such as scopes and merging, but I don't think that the
> > subject/occurrence (or whatever) distinction is one of the things RDF
> needs.
> Well there are other things too...

Perhaps.  Anything in particular we should be discussing?

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 720 320 2046
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com 
4735 East Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management
Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
Latest article: Managing structured Web service metadata - 
Next presentation: XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 
Received on Sunday, 7 April 2002 23:12:26 UTC

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