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Re: Preferable alternative to 'resource'

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 09:36:26 -0400
Message-Id: <D9B71D05-04A2-4581-A5EC-81117079E4D5@w3.org>
Cc: Technical Architecture Group WG <www-tag@w3.org>, Susie Stephens <susie.stephens@gmail.com>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>

On 2007-09 -27, at 16:28, Pat Hayes wrote:

>> So, Pat, what would be a better word which we should use instead?
> Things?

I think 'thing' is my number 1 contender.   It was, after all, picked  
by OWL.   It is natural to use in sentences.
For the lay reader it is natural, and for the technical reader if Pat  
you don't object, well, it is doing well :)

> 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.

No, I am not looking for a definition of the class. I am looking for  
a word to replace 'resource' which in sentences such as
"The resource identified by the URI is the same resource as that  
identified by the other URI" and so on.
("The resource denoted by the URI is the same resource as that  
denoted by the other URI"   if you prefer -- don't argue with the  
verb in *this* thread!)

"The thing identified by the URI is the same thing as that identified  
by the other URI" works for me.

Suppose we do a re-edit of the AWWW using 'thing'. I feel it might be  
an improvement.
Keep 'resource' for a use matching its english use.
I'd encourage the tutorial to remove the 'we call these resources'  
and use 'thing'.

By the way  I am much happier with 'resource' in 'information' resource'

Even though I would have liked to
have used the term 'document' for just the reason you suggest  
'thing': It works in sentences, has a cognitive resonance with lay  
readers which leaves them closer the actual abstract we want than  
anything else  can think of.

I wonder what the AWWW would look like with s/information resource/ 
document/g; s/resource/thing/g

>> 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.

(Thanks, yes but I was just after the word.)

> Pat
Received on Friday, 28 September 2007 13:36:50 UTC

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