W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

RE: silly question about rdf:about

From: Miles Sabin <miles@mistral.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 14:54:29 +0100
To: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000901c1e485$11f1d810$a3eab8c3@milessabin.com>
Uche Ogbuji wrote,
> Lars Marius Garshol wrote,
> > I think Nikita is right. If you look at the RDF currently being
> > published, most of it (if not all), uses http URIs to point to 
> > things that are not network-retrievable resources.
> I disagree.  Do you have some citations?  I don't think I've ever 
> heard an RDF person put up a URI and say "this is a person".  I 
> don't think I've ever seen the equivalent of this in any RDF 
> examples, either.

How about this one from the M+S REC itself,

    <rdf:Description about="http://www.w3.org/Home/Lassila">
      <s:Creator rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740"/>

    <rdf:Description about="http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740">
      <v:Name>Ora Lassila</v:Name>

which according to the text in sec. 2.1 is asserting,

  The individual referred to by employee id 85740 is named Ora Lassila 
  and has the email address lassila@w3.org. The resource 
  http://www.w3.org/Home/Lassila was created by this individual.

IOW, http://www.w3.org/staffId/85740 denotes Ora Lassila, the person.



> So while I agree that there *ought* to be no confusion, I think that
> in practice there is. This could be fixed by providing convenient and
> understandable mechanisms for handling this, but current practice
> seems to be broken.
> | 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?
> Because lots of people use URIs that way.

Then the confusion is of their own making, not RDF.

As I said in the nocturne, the uses and meanings of URIs lie at a very 
different layer from RDF.  Since RDF works (or should work) with URIs as
are, this is a problem to be solved in URI, not RDF.  Ans it's a problem
goes far beyond RDF.

Personally, I don't see the problem, which is why I've ditched the long
thread on the issue.  There are specs that govern URIs, and since tose
are not, emm, ontologically closed  :-), URIs end up meaning largely
what we 
agree that they mean.  This is quite common, and the human species isn't

extinct because of such ambiguities.

I don't think that adding a layer of indirection, as Topic Maps does,
does a 
*thing* to change this, or goes a single step beyond RDF in
disambiuating the 
meanings of things we are describing.

> | 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.
> I find this a puzzling statement. To me they are very clear, and it
> seems to me that most topic mappers feel the same way.

Then I probably misunderstood the discusson that night.  Pardon me.  It
seemed to me that there was a lot of cross-clarification going on while 
discussing TM matters, much of which increased any fog I might have been

It's not for me to say what others understand.

Uche Ogbuji                   Principal Consultant     Fourthought, Inc.
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com   http://Fourthought.com   +1 720 320 2046
XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management
Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
Managing structured Web service metadata -
WSDL and the Wild, Wild West - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 

This e-mail has been scanned for all viruses by Star Internet. 
Received on Monday, 15 April 2002 09:54:33 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:44:35 UTC