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Re: [ontolog-forum] implementation issues for ontology URIs (right forum

To: rick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 16:49:12 -0500
Message-id: <F80BD5EC-D418-42A3-9EE9-96EFA9FD3366@xxxxxxx>

On Oct 5, 2008, at 1:35 PM, Rick Murphy wrote:    (01)

> Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>> On Sat, Oct 4, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On Oct 4, 2008, at 2:46 AM, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>>> Cool thanks
>>>> it renders well in firefox without extension
>>>> but I am not sure understand how one uri can be viewed both as rdf
>>>> source and html
>>> It is resolved by 'content negotiation', a similar technique used  
>>> for
>>> example to decide which language version you get of a multi- 
>>> language-
>>> edition newspaper. To regard these editions as a single resource is
>>> considered good Web practice according to the W3C Architectural
>>> guidelines, but the extension of this to the HTML/RDF distinction is
>>> currently more controversial. So this might be good practice,
>>> depending on how the current debates about RDF and content  
>>> negotiation
>>> finally settle out. In the meantime one should probably treat it as
>>> provisionally good practice, or maybe experimental good practice.
>> Ahem.
>> There is not a whiff of content negotiation, which I don't like
>> because it makes it confusing to figure out what resource the URI
>> names. I do not consider using content negotiation good practice,  
>> even
>> provisionally.
> Content negotiation can be an effective practice given a model  
> theoretic
> semantics based on pragmaticism. Given that we can't constrain  
> behavior
> on the web, the key point is to align model theory and practice. I
> certainly defer to Pat on this issue, but I believe the recent
> developments in linked data, specifically the introduction of
> information and non-information resources, imply a need to update the
> current RDF model theory to reflect a vocabulary that differentiates
> things, things in the world and references to things in the world.    (02)

Um... First, information resources weren't "introduced": the  
terminology was invented in order to clarify a distinction that has  
been present since the Internet was the Arpanet. Second, like any  
other model theory, the RDF model theory is neutral with regard to the  
nature of the things being denoted, so it applies to all kinds of  
'resources' (W3C-speak for 'thing' or 'entity'). What I don't like  
about your suggested 3-way division is that it suggests that  
informational objects aren't in the world, which is just wrong. BTW,  
RDF tried to deal with the thing/reference distinction with its notion  
of reification, and we did give a model theory for that, but it is  
just too controversial to be standardized at the present time.    (03)

I agree with the spirit of your remarks, however. RDF is really a very  
simple notation, and doenst have the expressive power to make  
distinctions like symbol/symbolized, let alone the mind-bending  
intricacies that arise in Web architectural negotiations. Fact is,  
IMO, semiotics as a whole hasnt yet come to grips with the  
distinctions and phenomena that the Web is throwing up at such a rate.  
Semiotics hasnt yet faced up to what markup means (mixed text and meta- 
text, blended in a new way), or to the idea that some forms of  
denotation are computable but others aren't, and how this changes the  
nature of meaning; or to the fact that the Web offers wholly new forms  
of pragmatic usages of language, such as the use of textual deixis to  
indicate reference (as when you read 'for more information, click  
<here>' ). I'd love to get deeper into all this stuff, but I don't  
expect it to be usefully formalizable in a model theory for quite a  
while yet. This is an open research area, not something we should be  
trying to write standards for.    (04)

Pat    (05)

>    (06)

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