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Re: Preferable alternative to 'resource'

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 15:28:29 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230917c321c018f07e@[]>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Technical Architecture Group WG <www-tag@w3.org>, Susie Stephens <susie.stephens@gmail.com>

>On 2007-09 -20, at 11:37, Pat Hayes wrote:
>(Re: Some TAG  review of "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web")
>>In addition, that final sentence really is ridiculous. "We call all 
>>these things resources."  All WHAT things? It sounds rather as 
>>though you are saying 'We call everything resources.'
>I agree that that is a terrible word. It is an abuse of the english 
>word. (Its use is is historical: when Universal Resource Idemtofiers 
>and Resource Description Format were dreamed up, the communities 
>were very  much thinking of Information resources, such as 
>educational resources available on the WWW).
>So, Pat, what would be a better word which we should use instead?

Things? Seriously: why do you need a special term which means 
"anything at all"? Almost any word you baptize specially will have 
some problems. I gather 'entity' is already used up by XML. If you 
say 'concept' then some folk will think you mean to exclude the 
things they are concepts of. Why not just a form of words like this:

>The class of all  ____ s?

The class of everything, aka the universal class.

>The class of which all classes are subclasses is the class of ____ s?

Things, in an inclusive sense. Anything, real or imaginary, which can 
be referred to or talked about.
To sound technical, call them 'referents' because you refer to them. 
English doesn't have the word 'namee', perhaps that's for the best 
now I look at it. I think the topic map folk use "topic" which is 
about as good as anything, even though its a newer usage and slightly 
off target (since a referent in fact might just sit there without 
being the topic of anything because nobody is talking about it.)

Better still:

The class of which all classes are subclasses is the universal class, 
which contains everything. Also called the 'universe', also sometimes 
called the 'domain of discourse', which draws attention to the fact 
that 'anything' here means anything that can be referred to or talked 
about, whether it is real or imaginary: any possible topic of any 
kind of meaningful discourse.



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Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 20:28:58 UTC

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