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Re: article on URIs, is this material that can be used by the SWEO IG?

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 13:08:03 -0700
Message-Id: <p0623091ac2861ef8065d@[]>
To: Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@dfki.de>
Cc: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, www-tag@w3.org

>Hi Pat,
>I try to answer the questions by referencing to the TAG resolution, 
>I am not aware of other standards for concept URIs (besides #-uris).

Agreed, there do not seem to be any. However, the TAG resolution 
fails to address the central point, see below.

>It was Pat Hayes who said at the right time 01.06.2007 06:48 the 
>following words:
>>>I only kick in with some practical input ...
>>>It was Pat Hayes who said at the right time 31.05.2007 09:05 the 
>>>following words:
>>>>>Pat Hayes scripsit:
>>>>>>  > For example,
>>>>>  > >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare is a subject indicator for
>>>>>  > >Shakespeare.
>>>>>>  But it also mentions Stratford-on-Avon, Mary Arden, and many other
>>>>>>  things. Why is it not just as much 'about' them?
>>>>>Because I don't so employ it.
>>>>OK, fair enough. But then it follows that there is nothing 
>>>>*intrinsic* to that resource that makes it be a subject indicator 
>>>>for Shakespeare. It is so simply because you say it is. But when 
>>>>I read that resource, how do I gain access to *your* intention 
>>>>that it shall be a subject indicator? What readable resource is 
>>>>it that tells me that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare is 
>>>>a subject indicator for Shakespeare ?
>>>Semantic MediaWiki has done that technically:
>>>You see how the links are done for example here:
>>>  <smw:hasArticle 
>>No, I'm afraid I don't see. In this example, everything is an 
>>'information resource': both the Wiki and the article about it.
>The URI 
>http://ontoworld.org/wiki/Special:URIResolver/Semantic_MediaWiki is 
>not HTTP-200 and does a 303, therefore, by suggestion of the TAG, it 
>may be an concept. So according to the decision of the TAG, there is 
>a clear distinction here.
>   a) If an "http" resource responds to a GET request with a
>      2xx response, then the resource identified by that URI
>      is an information resource;
>   b) If an "http" resource responds to a GET request with a
>      303 (See Other) response, then the resource identified
>      by that URI could be any resource;
>so I see no point here arguing that both are information resources, 
>they are not, as decided above.

But it does NOT decide this. What that decision says is that the 
resource identified COULD BE ANY resource. In particular, it could be 
an information resource. And in this case, as far as I can understand 
the concept of "information resource", it in fact is. The TAG 
decision provides no way to assert that a resource is NOT an 
information resource.

It also, more seriously, provides no way to link or connect any URI 
to any non-information resource, so it seems to me that any claim 
that any URI "identifies" any non-information resource is at present 
simply bogus. How can one connect a URI to Shakespeare, I repeat? The 
Semantic_MediaWiki does NOT do this. It provides a way to link a free 
text article with a URI that COULD identify SOMETHING which can be 
ANY resource. We have already established in this thread that a 
free-text article does not, in itself, identify anything: the URI 
identifies the thing because that identification is the intent of the 
author, not because there is any way to tell that free-text articles 
are "about" anything in particular. So what else is there to make the 
connection between (I guess it would be)
http://ontoworld.org/wiki/Special:URIResolver/Shakespeare  and 
Shakespeare? Bearing in mind that the latter guy has been dead now 
for some considerable time, but that (according to the TAG), having 
an "identifier" for him should enable us to "access" him by 
dereferencing the URI 
(http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/#dereference-uri). Although many 
literary scholars might disagree, I rather hope that the Web cannot 
do this, myself.

>>How would this work for something (like for example Shakespeare, or 
>>for that matter my toaster oven) which is not 'on' the Web at all? 
>>How would Semantic MediaWiki make a URI denote one of those things? 
>>By the way, nobody has written any definitive Web articles about my 
>>toaster oven.
>The solution would be, you can setup a #-uri for your oven

I can create such a URIref, yes. How to I attach it to my actual 
oven? So that someone can use that URIref to "access" my actual oven? 
This is apparently required for a Web identifier, see above. Writing 
an article in English about my oven does not do this, we have 
established. (And in any case, to hell with writing a continuing blog 
about everything I want to refer to.)

>(as Timbl favors for small ontologies), or you can install Semantic 
>Mediawiki on any server of choice to make a page about your toaster

You have GOT to be joking. How about the sand on Pensacola Beach? One 
wikipedia entry per grain? (Look, I KNOW this is ridiculous. But my 
point is that *this is what you guys seem to be saying*. So what you 
are saying seems to be ridiculous. So I suspect you don't really mean 
to be saying this at all. So, next question, what DO you mean to be 

>, or you can use David Booths http://thing-described-by.org
>Or you implement a correct 303-redirect server, all info needed to 
>do this is in the articles "cool uris for the semantic web" and this 

I know how to do this. But I refuse to go to all this bother, no 
matter what the TAG says, when it does absolutely nothing whatever 
towards solving the central problem. None of this architectural 
doodlebugging can ever attach a name to a thing that is not 
physically connected to the Internet. Y'all seem to be blind to this 
very central fact.

>>>The "concept identifiers" or concept URIs are of this like:
>>So what this does, apparently, is to do a 303 redirect to a URI 
>>obtained by removing "/Special:URIResolver" from the concept URI. 
>>How does that make this concept identifier denote a thing? Where in 
>>all this is there anything to associate any URI with an actual 
>>object? In the earlier example, how can MediaWiki establish a 
>>connection between a URI and Shakespeare? It is not enough to say 
>>that the article itself identifies the object it is 'about': we 
>>have already established that that alone is not sufficient to 
>>determine the denotation. So what does determine it?
>In my humble understanding, the standard set by the TAG determines this.

Well, I don't mean to be ad-hominem, but your humble understanding is 
wrong at this point.

>The ideas suggested in the XML Topic Maps standard are semantically 
>also correct. The problem with RDF is, that we miss the predicates 
>for "isSubjectIdentiferRefOf", so there is no clear suggestion for 

None of that will help. One can only use names which (are assumed to) 
refer, in order to establish the referents of other names. There is 
no way out of this circle, no way to 'anchor' or 'ground' the names 
in the actual real world, without appealing at some point to an act 
of perception. In everyday life, we point to things and say "that". 
On the Web, *for information resources*, we rely on HTTP to go fetch 
us a "representation" which is so exact a copy that we are satisfied 
that we have accessed the original resource. But the combination of 
the Web and non-information resources provides no way to anchor any 
name in the real world. THERE IS NO GENERAL WAY TO GIVE A THING A 

>In ontologies I use, I introduce such properties, see here:
>we would need an W3C blessed property like this:
>paul:Rome a pimo:City;
>pimo:occurrenceRef http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome, 

Not even the W3C has the power to make names refer. I have the 
greatest respect for the W3C, but it is not God.


>DI Leo Sauermann       http://www.dfki.de/~sauermann
>Deutsches Forschungszentrum fuer Kuenstliche Intelligenz DFKI GmbH
>Trippstadter Strasse 122
>P.O. Box 2080           Fon:   +49 631 20575-116
>D-67663 Kaiserslautern  Fax:   +49 631 20575-102
>Germany                 Mail:  leo.sauermann@dfki.de
>Prof.Dr.Dr.h.c.mult. Wolfgang Wahlster (Vorsitzender)
>Dr. Walter Olthoff
>Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats:
>Prof. Dr. h.c. Hans A. Aukes
>Amtsgericht Kaiserslautern, HRB 2313

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Received on Friday, 1 June 2007 20:08:17 UTC

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