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Re: Identifying Things (on the semantic web)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 17:26:39 -0600
Message-ID: <3A774DAF.EC77922E@w3.org>
To: Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
CC: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN wrote:
> Sandro Hawke wrote:
> > The problem: How do you talk about something when you don't already
> > share with your audience a common identifier for it?
> >
> > Proposed answer: Find a document which
> >   - can be identified to your audience
> >   - contains some text which, in the document, identifies
> >     the thing in a way your audience understands.

You can generalize that to: you describe it in terms
that you and your audience already have in your shared

> > Then identify the thing with the pair (document identifier, text of
> > thing-identifier).   And if we use URI-references as document
> > identifiers, we have a pretty good system.    (URIs would work, but
> > it's easier to find a unique identifier in big documents if we allow
> > fragments.)
> soubd idea

yes, I think so.

> > Examples: I can be identified quite clearly as: "The thing called
> > 'Sandro Hawke' on the web at http://www.w3.org/People/Sandro/".
> > And a "URI-reference" can be identified as "The thing called
> > 'URI-reference' in http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt".
> >
> > I think people have been trying to approximate this by using
> > identifiers like
> >    http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt#URI-reference
> > but that's a poor approximation because that construct already has a
> > different meaning.
> It *may* already have some meaning, depending on the mime type of the data retrieved through the prefixed URI. But I think using fragments is a natural way of implementing your idea.

I agree.

> I guess some more appropriate syntax would be
>   http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt#hrd(URI-reference)
> where "hrd" stands for "human readable description".
> Of course, according to RFC-2396, a fragment identifier's meaning depends on the mime type ;
> can we define a fragment class valid over mime type */* ?
>   Pierre-Antoine Champin

Anyway... the main point of this message is: I've
been studying context logic; in particular:
the corefer() thingy on p.23 of

Guha's 1991 Stanford PhD thesis, Contexts: A Formalization and Some

seems like an interesting way of thinking about this issue.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 30 January 2001 18:26:47 UTC

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