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Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Re: OWL and lack of identifiers

To: "Hans Teijgeler" <hans.teijgeler@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2007 18:53:00 -0500
Message-id: <p06230902c24868b4d2df@[]>
>Hi Bill,
>When you speak about "book" there are two possibilities:
>1- you speak about a class of representation 
>that is an aggregate of other classes of 
>representation (strings, reals, binaries)
>2- you speak about members of that class, being 
>ink-on-paper or pixels-on-screen, i.e. physical 
>objects that are copies of that book
>    (01)

Actually there are a host of distinguishable things in here.    (02)

1. a physical object on a shelf in a library
2.- 5. Various notions of 'edition', 
'manuscript', etc. used by booksellers, 
publishers, archivists, etc.. Whether or not 
these entities are physical is a topic for 
onbtological debate, but they are all outside the 
range of computer technology, eg they can't be 
sent over a network.
6. A representation of any of 1-6 in some form, eg a description in a database.
7. A general ontology which defines a concept 
name used to describe 1-6, and which (the concept 
name) is then used to refer to an entity in the 
range 1-6.    (03)

>Normally you use 1- and use a URI for that.    (04)

Not according the W3C TAG. URIs should only be 
used for 'information resources' , i.e. things 
that can be sent over the internet (i.e. 
representations of one kind or another). You can 
use URI references to denote 'real' things, but 
normally not URIs themselves (and if you do use 
them in this way, they should respond with a 
303-redirect when pinged with an http-GET).    (05)

>You use 2- only in case you want to manage 
>individual copies, such as of a contract.    (06)

Why can one not use names, eg URIreferences, to 
refer to individuals just as well as to classes? 
You can in RDF/OWL and in all known logics.    (07)

>Both can be related to as many identifiers as 
>you need by relating it to one or more strings. 
>In the 2- case such an identifier could be the 
>copy number. For that (and other) reason(s) we 
>represent strings etc as classes with a datatype 
>property. That string class has its own URI. It 
>can be typed as "English" (or, denormalized for 
>FOL fans, it can be made a subclass of something 
>like "English text").    (08)

Seems more natural in a Web context to use 
XSD/RDF conventions and code it as an RDF plain 
literal - i.e. a character string - with a 
language tag. Then stripping off the tag gives 
you an XML Schema xsd:string datatyped literal.    (09)

Pat Hayes    (010)

>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>On Behalf Of Bill Andersen
>Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 16:13
>To: [ontolog-forum]
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] {Disarmed} Re: OWL and lack of identifiers
>Hey Ken et al..
>>Ken Laskey wrote:
>>Thus, anything that can be identified is a 
>>resource (i.e., you can use everything for 
>>something) and URIs are one means (and one that 
>>has been found very useful) for providing that 
>I think there's a slight confusion here.  It is 
>decidedly *not* a name (which URIs are) that 
>provides the identity.  Granted, URIs are meant 
>to be *identifiers* which suggests that at any 
>given time they name one and only one thing. 
>Rather, it is the primitive fact that books are 
>individuable at all, for example, that allows 
>them to be so named.  There's the identity.
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>    (011)

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