RE: Issue-57

Cutting CC list:

JAR:  In what sense can someone believe something, if they don't know what it means? In fact, how can one even decide whether one wants to believe something, or test whether it holds (don't know why the scare quotes), without knowing what it means?

Larry: Belief without full understanding is fundamental to "belief".   Belief determines the extent that one is willing to accept conclusions based on the believed assertion. In the particular use case we're talking about (making a statement about licenses), the conclusion might be about whether to allow a particular kind of use. You don't really need to understand the license completely to come to some conclusion based on the assertion of license.

JAR: You allergy to the word "meaning" here is very strange. You use the word at least 50 times in one of your best-known pieces of writing, RFC 2616. These uses are unproblematic, as far as I can tell. What about this conversation do you think erodes the colloquial utility of the word "meaning"?


Your use of  "allergy"  and "fear" borders on ad hominem. Desist. I'm making a point, not out of fear or allergy.

RFC 2616 is defining a protocol, and the meanings given there are in the context of the HTTP protocol, not universal or even uniform meanings. A HTTP header means something only in the context of HTTP.   Other protocols might use the same terms with different meanings.

This conversation seems to be about meaning of URIs without any particular protocol context. If you asked me what a URI meant within the context of use of XML namespace name or within the context of a hyperlinked @href, I wouldn't hesitate to talk about meaning in those contexts. It's only in the unbounded case of what URIs mean without context that cause me to put "meaning" in quotes.

Perhaps you really intend to restrict the context in which you are giving meaning to URIs only in RDF, or a particular application of RDF? But even RDF itself is missing a protocol context.


>> And if Alice instead asserts


>>   <http://example/z> license l1


>> (using unqualified relations and even license identifiers), the result

>> is that Bob has even more ambiguity to deal with, that Bob knows less

>> about Alice's belief about the license for <http://example/z>.


> If Bob says this I haven't a clue what language he's speaking. The meaning, if any, would depend on what prior understanding exists between Bob and Alice, and I'm not privy to that.

You have a clue, just not as much of a clue;  it is always true that any meaning depends on prior mutual understanding.  Doesn’t Bob's understanding of Alice assertion

<http://example/z> xhv:license <http://example/l1> depends on a prior mutual understanding of the scope and time persistence of the l1 license at host example?

Received on Sunday, 21 August 2011 15:41:26 UTC