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Re: Issue-57

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:49:54 +0100
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=9jPV-nuoqp=kG2eOBoB6FVp48kw@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 9:41 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 2011-06-14 at 05:05 +0100, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 9:50 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
>> > I do not think that is a fair characterization.  Richard's example is
>> > *not* opting out of machine inference.  It is merely opting out of
>> > certain inferences that *some* applications need but others do *not*
>> > need.  And that is as it *should* be, as it is not possible to cater to
>> > *all* applications.
>> >
>> > The subtle mistake that is being made repeatedly here is in assuming
>> > that someone's data is *wrong* (or socially irresponsible) if it
>> > conflates two things that we humans find useful to distinguish, such as
>> > people versus web pages -- *even* if the class of applications for which
>> > that data is intended have no need to make such a distinction!
>> Pat has it right:
>> On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 4:33 AM, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
>> > Bear in mind that the very first principle of the Web is that the
>> > *publisher* of the data, who asserts these things about dogs or
>> > pictures of dogs, cannot possibly know what 'context of use' is
>> > going to be relevant to the *user* of the published content
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-lod/2011Jun/0199.html
> I agree with the above comment: data publishers cannot know how their
> data will be used.  However, that is *not* the same as saying that their
> data must be usable in all possible applications.  Any given dataset
> supports a particular class of applications and will be unsuitable to
> others.  For example, a dataset that models the world as flat may be
> fine for computing driving directions but would be unsuitable for
> aircraft applications.

David, each time a criticism is made, the response seems to switch to
responding to something different and not pertinent to the criticism.
Above you say:

"the class of applications for which that data is intended" = data is
published with an application in mind. Then you say you agree with Pat
that: "the *publisher* data, who asserts these things about dogs or
pictures of dogs, cannot possibly know what 'context of use' is going
to be relevant to the *user* of the published content"

These two statements are inconsistent. Either the data is published
with the intent that it be used in some applications and not others,
or the data is published without the user knowing the applications.

The shift in response is you talking about how it isn't the case that
"data must be usable in all possible applications" instead staying
with the point about your statements about users aiming their data at
certain application.

Perhaps in you will respond that there is some essential ambiguity
that allows what you say to be inconsistent for *my application* which
uses logic to assess whether what someone is saying is coherent, but
is fine for *your application* which has some other goal?

But the bottom line is that I don't think your arguments hold
together, with the above sort of thing being just one example of a
pattern I see.

I come to the same conclusion about your next response. I was talking
about Richard's set of inconsistent assertions regarding documents and
people. You supported Richard: "Richard's example is *not* opting out
of machine inference.....".

But then you agree with me that Richard *isn't* free to change the
rules as he goes. Certainly uri owner for "foaf:Document" did not
intend that it be applied to a person.

So again I see a contradiction. And the shift to a different topic.
First your respond about schema.org, which wasn't relevant to the
point, as they are not a data publisher. Second you write  "HOWEVER, a
URI declaration or definition cannot remove all possible ambiguity,
not matter how precise or well considered it is.". But *no one at all*
has said that document and person are defined in ambiguous enough ways
that they might be ambiguously used to mean the other.

This pattern of discourse makes it very difficult to engage you. The
discussion is disjointed because of these contradiction/shift moves,
but it's distracting to have to break stride in an otherwise reasoned
conversation to analyze and document exactly what is wrong with the

I'm sorry this isn't a happy message, but that's my experience here.


>> David, we are not aiming for application developers to use the web as
>> scratchpad instead of a relational database with the mind of then
>> sucking it back in for their proprietary application. We don't *need*
>> the web for that. The idea that data publishers should have in mind
>> exactly how their data is supposed to be used, and then choose to use
>> public vocabulary however they feel like it is just broken. It is
>> missing the point.
> I agree, and that is *not* what I am advocating or condoning.  Except
> for the rare case of community expropriation, I think URIs should be
> used strictly in accordance with their URI declarations (i.e., the URI
> owner's published definitions):
> http://dbooth.org/2009/lifecycle/#event2
> [[
> An RDF statement author has a choice about whether to use a given URI in
> a statement. The guiding principle is:
>  Statement author responsibility 3: Use of a URI implies agreement
>  with the core assertions of its URI declaration.
> Hence, the statement author is responsible for ensuring that he/she does
> indeed agree with those assertions and must NOT use the URI if he/she
> does not agree.
> ]]
> HOWEVER, a URI declaration or definition cannot remove all possible
> ambiguity, not matter how precise or well considered it is.  All it can
> do is to *bound* the ambiguity.  For *some* applications, the ambiguity
> will be bounded enough that the URI appears unambiguous.  Whereas for
> other applications requiring finer distinctions, that same URI will be
> hopelessly ambiguous.
> There certainly *are* cases where people are just plain sloppy or
> erroneous in their data or definitions.  But one should not assume that
> ambiguity is *necessarily* the result of sloppiness or error.  And in
> the schema.org case, it appears to have been a conscious choice to avoid
> additional complexity -- complexity that may have hindered their target
> applications, even if it would have helped other applications.
> --
> David Booth, Ph.D.
> http://dbooth.org/
> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
> reflect those of his employer.
Received on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 23:50:52 UTC

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