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Re: Splitting vs. Interpreting

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:37:01 -0500
Cc: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@miscoranda.com>, "david@dbooth.org" <david@dbooth.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A103F9F6-5A57-44C3-AB3B-9FD5FE80592A@ihmc.us>
To: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>

On Jun 18, 2009, at 9:36 AM, Xiaoshu Wang wrote:

> Sean B. Palmer wrote:
>> Sorry, looks like I had an old address on file for you.
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@miscoranda.com>
>> Date: Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 8:23 PM
>> Subject: Splitting vs. Interpreting
>> To: David Booth <dbooth@hp.com>
>> Cc: www-tag@w3.org
>> You write about ambiguous and specific references here:
>> http://dbooth.org/2007/splitting/
>> When I worked on EARL in 2002, we had to solve httpRange-14, and we
>> did it in a practical way which your splitting document reminds me  
>> of.
>> We might want to evaluate a tool of some kind in EARL, say the W3C
>> Validator. But then we didn't know whether validator.w3.org was the
>> tool itself or a page about the tool. That's httpRange-14 in a
>> nutshell, before it was “solved” with the 303 hack.
>> So what we did was this:
>> <http://validator.w3.org/> earl:tool _:Validator .
>> The clever bit is that the earl:tool property says: if the subject is
>> a Document (i.e. an IR), then the object is the Tool described by  
>> that
>> document; whereas if the subject is a Tool, then the object is simply
>> the same thing as the subject.
> The solution is cleaver only because it pushes the ball to someone  
> else.  But it does not solve any problem at all.  Whoever is to  
> deploy the resource is still burdened with the impossible question:  
> is what s/he is about to deploy is a Document or not because she  
> needs the answer to know if s/he should 200 or 303.  Or she needs
> The real issue is that TAG, for whatever reason that I cannot  
> understand, refuses to acknowledge such a simple truth:  what you  
> get from a URI is NOT what a URI denotes.

But why not? Seems to me that the absoluteness of your negative  
judgement here is just as wrong as the naive positive judgement. The  
very power of descriptive logics arises from their being topic- 
neutral: they can describe, their names can refer to, anything at all.  
And I see no reason to *exclude* 'what you get from a URI' from that  
universe of possible referents.

> We never know what a URI denotes -- it is our purpose to share that  
> knowledge.  But the sharing is achieve from sharing what we get from  
> the URI.

I agree the two roles are distinct, but one and the same thing might  
be both the shared thing and the topic of the content represented in  
that shared thing. And in this case, we *can* know what the URi  
denotes. In fact, this is how referents are attached to things in  
daily life, by explicit ostention. I pass you a book, and I say "read  
this, you will enjoy it". My referential word "this" is attached to  
the actual book by the causal nexus of my utterance being linked to  
the act of passing the actual book. What http-range-14 says is just  
like this, in a Web setting. If you toss a URI at me and I pass you  
back a 200-coded reply, I am in effect saying "This entity involved in  
the this transaction, here and now, is what you are asking about; it  
is the thing that the name you just used refers to".


> *Document* is what we get from a URI but *resource* is not.  I have  
> argued this in the past as well as in the upcoming paper at IR- 
> KR2009 (http://ir-kr.okkam.org/workshop-program/ir-kr-ijcai-09- 
> program).
> Once we understand the above distinction.  The remedy is simple.  We  
> need to solve it *syntactically* by using a URI convention to denote  
> what is we get from a URI, which I have proposed in another   
> manuscript to ISWC 2009 (which fate I don't know).
> Xiaoshu
>> And as you can imagine, this is extensible to interpreting ambiguous
>> resources in all kinds of ways. Now the TAG finding says that it's
>> removed a certain level of ambiguity, but there are other ambiguities
>> one might want to resolve when a page 303s and then still doesn't
>> define carefully what's at the end of it. So the EARL method is much
>> more practical.
>> You might also want to think a bit harder about statements such as
>> “there is no architectural need for Person and IR to be considered
>> disjoint”. Consider if you were using Facebook and it started
>> conflating people with groups and games and so on. But of course
>> people break the rules of the web until they matter, and since  
>> there's
>> no Semantic Web User Agent this rule doesn't matter.
>> I'm not saying that the TAG finding should be canned because you can
>> use the kind of interpretation properties that I've described as a  
>> way
>> around it. The point is rendered moot by various architectural
>> problems. But you ought to compare the 2002 and 2009 architectural
>> solutions carefully.

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Received on Thursday, 18 June 2009 15:37:49 UTC

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