W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > September 2004

RE: web proper names

From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 10:51:29 -0600
To: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-Id: <1096390289.4009.3143.camel@borgia>

Adrian Walker:

> > So, what's needed?  I'd argue that our discussions about web 
> > proper names 
> > and URIs can never converge to something computationally 
> > useful, unless we 
> > broaden the frame of discussion to bring in natural language 
> > processing.  In particular, a solid way of computationally 
> > linking RDF and 
> > English, in both directions, would do the trick.

Jon Hanna:

> I disagree. One of the benefits of using URIs is that they can have
> precision that isn't easily available in NLP even when that NLP is
> performed by the human brain (which seems to do an okay job in this
> regard most of the time). Working out what "set" means is a lot more
> complicated than working out what ISBN:0321185781 means. URIs are closer
> to the latter than the former.

I also agree with Adrian, but on different grounds.  URIs in RDF are
precise because they are exactly what they are: a string with lexical
rules, which can be processed.  That is not the same "precise" as a
natural language precise.  URIs are no more "precise" for NL than any
other terminological system.

What does the following mean: http://www.w3.org ?

No computer can tell me that.

That's why URIs should be atomic and *people* should decide what they
mean.  RDF shouldn't care.  RDF's job is "duh h duh t duh t duh p duh
colon... yup.  thats the resource yer asked for, sir".

Does http://uche.ogbuji.net mean the person, the Web site, the 404 page
that comes up if the Web site goes down?  An abstract quartum quid
variation of one of these?  Don't ask the computer: it will *never* be
able to tell you (well, not until we're so many AI generations down the
road that I can cut off the likelihood with Occam's razor).

Ask thy neighbor.  Then clout him one when you disagree with what he

That's the way symbols work.  That's the way communication works.  That
had better be the way SemWeb works, or it will be crushed under the
weight of its own ambition.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com

A hands-on introduction to ISO Schematron - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/x-dw-xschematron-i.html
Wrestling HTML (using Python) - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2004/09/08/pyxml.html
XML circles the globe - http://www.javareport.com/article.asp?id=9797
Principles of XML design: Considering container elements - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-contain.html
Hacking XML Hacks - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-think26.html
A survey of XML standards - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-stand4/
Received on Tuesday, 28 September 2004 16:52:02 UTC

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