# RE: I guess it's a stupid questions...

Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 10:46:23 +0100
To: "'Daniel O'Connor'" <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
```

Yes all that does clear things up but...

Funnily enough I was thinking about a box when I did my first post - and of
how it can be tricky to shoehorn a box's properties into triples.

First, you need units - so each box side is a 'double' - not a triple...

Second - chosing a box is a bit confusing since it has (conveniently) three
dimensions. Does that mean we need a double to decribe a rectangle - and a
n-iple (no offence intended) for a hypercube?

Also, lets say we are interested in the specific gravity of the water in
bob's box, at a given temperature whose dimensions for some strange reason
have been variously recorded in inches, kilometers and cubits.

You could build a very long chain of triples describing conversions and math
operations but is this the best way to go?

Alternatively, by leveraging the widely deployed FishBoxML 'standard', a
more straightforward analytical approach can be used - maybe... ;-)

Neil McNaughton
Editor - Oil IT Journal (www.oilit.com)

-----Original Message-----
From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org
[mailto:www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Daniel O'Connor
Sent: 13 November 2004 10:25
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Subject: Re: I guess it's a stupid questions...

Perhaps this needs a more of a hands on demonstration.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
</box>

XML. Fine and dandy. We know what a "box" is and what it's height,
width and depth properties are. You add in an extra property, and you
either have to change the schema or start using namespaces.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains>Fish</contains>
</box>

Okay, nothing too hard about that. Let's give the fish a name.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains><fish name="bob" /></contains>
</box>

That's wonderful. What if we want to take bob the fish out of our box?

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains nodeID="bob"></contains>
</box>

<fish nodeID="bob" name="bob" />

Now, let's give bob a homepage.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains nodeID="bob"></contains>
</box>

<fish nodeID="bob">
<name>bob</name>
<homepage>http://www.fish.com/</homepage>
</fish>

What if there's too much information about bob the fish to express
every time you want to talk about bob? Let's take the definition of
bob the fish and put him in an xml file on his homepage.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains nodeID="bob"></contains>
</box>

<fish nodeID="bob">
<seeAlso>http://www.fish.com/bob.xml</seeAlso>
</fish>

Now, what if we didn't even know Bob was a fish, he was just a strange
mystery object in a box?

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains resource="http://www.fish.com/bob.xml" />
</box>

And, if we want to say that bob is a fish, we know his name but we
don't know much else - his homepage has more information though.

<box>
<width>1</width>
<height>1</height>
<depth>1</depth>
<contains resource="http://www.fish.com/bob.xml" />
</box>

<name>bob</name>
</fish>

Suddenly, we've a lot of things that could go in the box. We don't
need to know about them, we just need to know where we *can* find out
more about them. Say we only know that bob is a fish in a box, not
what type of fish. We can use a common definition of a Fish (from
something like WordNet) and point to bob's description - which would
then offer a more meaningful description of Bob, the Flying Fish.

This is was RDF, RDFS and OWL are all about. Things getting more
detailed the more you look into them. XML can't really provide
*meaning*, which RDF can.

Does that clarify anything, or does it all seem a little fishy?

-Daniel O'Connor

--
http://www.ahsonline.com.au/dod/FOAF.rdf
```
Received on Saturday, 13 November 2004 09:46:54 UTC

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