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Re: web proper names

From: Thomas B. Passin <tpassin@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 17:28:28 -0400
Message-ID: <414F4B7C.7050805@comcast.net>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Harry Halpin wrote:
> Also, as regards Passim's predicates:
> 1) subjectIsTheThingReturnedByThisURI
> 2) theDocumentAtThisUriDescribesTheSubject
> 3) theDocumentAtThisUriIsAboutTheSubject
> I would replace "Document" with "Representation", and I'm not sure
> about this "About" versus "Describes" distinction. Seems unclear.

"About" as I used it here means the main subject of the web page (or 
other retrievable) resource.  An example would be an encyclopedia 
article about water.  The purpose of the page is related to the subject 
(here, water), and is not intended to explain the use of any URI 
identifier for water, such as http://www.example.com/water.

"Describes" as I used it here means that the page attempts to explain 
the "meaning" or subject of the URI.  For example, an English language 
Description for the URI might be as follows -

"The URI 'http://www.example.com/water-liquid' is a URI intended to 
identify the abstract concept called "water", or H20.  It specifically 
refers to H20 in its liquid state."

You see, the distinction is that the second or 
"theDocumentAtThisUriDescribesTheSubject" example, is intended to 
explicate the thing identified by the URI.  The third, or 
"theDocumentAtThisUriIsAboutTheSubject", is simply about the subject, 
like the encylopedia article.

I grant you that the "isAbout"-ness may not be discoverable by machine, 
at least for pages written in natural language, but we are always going 
to have that problem  Imagine converting, say, the rdf Recommendation(s) 
into rdf/owl with no human-readable text. It would never work - 
somewhere, there have to be readable explanations of what the various 
terms and concepts mean.


Tom P
Thomas B. Passin
Explorer's Guide to the Semantic Web (Manning Books)
Received on Monday, 20 September 2004 21:25:32 UTC

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