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RE: Desirata for Symbols (was Re: What do the ontologists want)

From: Stefan Decker <stefan@db.stanford.edu>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 08:40:07 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Ziv Hellman" <ziv@unicorn.com>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org

>Which is all well and good ... but still has no bearing for the question 
>of 'what possible advantage does "urn:elvis" (or any other URI-like thing)
>have over "elvis" as a logic symbol?'

But a URI constructed according to e.g. Sandros suggestion [1] has possible 


The name contains creation time, and a naming authority (decker.cx).
Using decker.cx (which happens to be my domain) I can dispute any unauthorized
use of that name - I can prove that I'm the naming authority, that this 
name is mine.
If you are using the name I created for something I don't like, I can (and 
will) sue you
(hey, create your own version of Elvis, or (better) use the (anticipated)
Elvis-URI provided by http://www.elvis.org if you want to talk about the King!)

URIs is just a way to create names.
We can and should discuss what properties we want to engineer into the name.
If we don't want your names to have any properties, strings like "elvis" are
perfectly fine. But I believe it is useful to have names with properties - 
authority is just one possible reason among many.
Maybe we can start a thread about what properties names should have and how
to realize these properties instead of discussing if a 'urn:' is harmful or 

All the best,


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/02/tann/

Received on Sunday, 20 May 2001 11:39:48 UTC

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