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Re: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys

From: Giles Hogben <giles.hogben@jrc.it>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 15:40:55 +0200
Message-ID: <06ca01c1e15e$81556fc0$162abf8b@pcdsa22>
To: "Nick Matsakis" <matsakis@mit.edu>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
The same problem occurs with words - if I want to talk about the word "car"
rather than a car, I need to specifically say - "the word \"car\"". If an
RDF statement wishes to refer to the online description of an object as
specifically distinct from the object itself, then with the "documentist"
approach, it cannot do this . For example, you cannot say
"http://www.rutgers.edu/~sgro/HTML_Documents/pipe.html contains a
representation of a pipe."
Or can you?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nick Matsakis" <matsakis@mit.edu>
To: "Giles Hogben" <giles.hogben@jrc.it>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys

> On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Giles Hogben wrote:
> > I would like to see some practical examples of what real world problems
> > are caused by the two points of view. If this issue is really so
> > important then I'd like to know what difference it's going to make to
> > anyone or anything other than being able to say "a URI refers to a
> > document, not a car".
> As I see it, the problem is one of namespace collision.  If you are
> deciding in your application to use http:// URIs for, say, people, you
> will run into problems when you try to exchange information with
> applications which use http:// resources (exclusively) for web pages.
> In RDF, we are always free to disagree and give different names to the
> same thing.  However, we should *never* give the same name to different
> things.  If you want to give an http:// URI to something which is made up
> of atoms, then you run the risk of encountering someone who uses that same
> URI to refer just to the bits.  If you find yourself saying, "Well,
> someone else might rightly use this URI to refer to the _representation_
> of the thing I'm talking about..." this is an indication that it might not
> be a good choice for a name.
> Just to be clear, I'm not saying that http:// URIs should only be used for
> documents, but only for bit-based lifeforms.  Web services, images, and
> databases are all bit-based.  People, cars, and printers are not.
> Nick Matsakis
Received on Thursday, 11 April 2002 09:38:42 UTC

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