not to belabor the points being made below, there are several variations
that often occur. Let me cite one frequent example: multiple
representations of the same real world object (RWO), appearing in a data
store. Several of the attributes are identical, or similar, or at least
close, but due to the perspective (or the methods employed) to gateger
the descriptive data, each representation of the RWO contains some
values that contradict all 'like' values in the other representations.
Yet each representation remains valid and is useful for its purpose, AND
each is a purports (?) to be the representation of the RWO in its own
context. Users of the different contexts, are able to assimilate and
integrate these various representations and usually w/o confusion build
an accurate understanding of the RWO sufficient for their needs. (01)
Jack Teller (02)
John F. Sowa wrote:
> To begin with the conclusion:
> JFS>> Similar problems occur with most other naming systems,
> >> but they become especially difficult when you're talking
> >> about abstract stuff like information.
> WK> Yes, and this is why the assumption behind semantic web
> > technologies that a URI should identify the same entity
> > on every occasion should be treated with highest suspicion.
> That is the problem. People need a content identifier, but
> what they are given is a location identifier.
> Some further comments on the preceding four points:
> JFS>> For example, a URI that points to a location uniquely
> >> identifies that location. But what happens with the
> >> following cases:
> >> 1. The contents at that location change over time.
> WK> I would say: nothing happens. If the URI points to a
> > location (given some arbitrary system of coordinates),
> > the change of the content of the location does not change
> > the location.
> That's the problem: nothing happens. But more often
> than not, the person who is looking for the information
> needs to know (a) whether the content has been changed,
> (b) why it has been changed, or (c) where the original
> information can be found.
> JFS>> 2. The contents move to another location.
> WK> See above.
> Yes, all the problems of #1 are repeated.
> JFS>> 3. The contents are identical to the contents at
> >> many other locations.
> WK> Weird; what sort of identity do you have in mind?
> > Indiscernibility? Relative identity?
> Not weird at all. Indiscernible copies are abundant
> throughout the WWW, deliberately, accidentally, or
> JFS>> 4. The contents can be interpreted in many different
> >> ways -- e.g., does the URI identify a web page or
> >> the service supported at that web site?
> WK> But here clearly you mean a URI that identifies the
> > content of a region, not the region. These should not be
> > confused.
> That's what I was trying to say. They are very commonly
> confused. What most people want is the content, but what
> they are given is a location whose connection with the
> content is tenuous at best.
> John Sowa
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