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   Re: [xml-dev] many-to-many

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Uche Ogbuji scripsit:

> "map/territory" is complete mumbo jumbo to me, and has been every time a TM 
> proponent has tried to explain this "confusion".  For purposes of computation, 
> if the "map" has all the data the computer needs for a particular purpose, 
> then it doesn't matter whether or not it is actually the "territory".

The trouble is that the map has its own map properties that are distinct
from the properties expressed by the map.  Taking your employee, it is
quite likely that the human being is in Podunk, but the server holding the
Web page is in Squedunk.  If your system can't tell these two apart, it can't
deal with questions like "Where is John Jones?" correctly.  Similarly
with the height of Shakespeare: measured in feet/inches (or meters), or in

> > BTW, did you dereference the URL yet?
> I just did.  It's a picture of some guy.  If there's a point to it, I don't 
> gather it.

It's a photograph of Frank Shakespeare, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal
(and lots of other things).  I basically used it as a joke; I image-googled
for "Shakespeare" and saw this showing up along with lots of copies of the
familiar First Folio portrait (doublet, hose, etc.)

> > I can't *compute* a letter
> > to my doctor either, saying I will not pay his outrageous bill, but I
> > can and do use a computer to produce it and file it.  When I file it,
> > I want to classify it as being *about* my doctor, so I must have a way
> > to represent him within the computer.
> When I take on such tasks, I am classifying things according to something that 
> my computer can process.  This merely has to be a record representing the 
> doctor for all the computer operations I plan to undertake.

In other words, a b-node.  But to make this scale on the Web, you have
to have some way of identifying your doctor node with other people's nodes
for the same doctor (so you can compare notes).  You could represent your
doctor by his Web page, but then you have precluded yourself from having
any way of talking about the Web page itself (you cannot represent, e.g.
"My doctor is of high quality, but his Web page is of low quality".

Alternatively, you could give your doctor node an URL and tell other
people what it is so they can use it in RDF; that is what TM calls
"publishing a subject indicator".

> I have no idea 
> why I need to have some sort of magical referent to the actual person of the 
> doctor in my computer in order to file and classify his bill.

You don't.  You merely need some way of distinguishing assertions about
the doctor from assertions about *documents* that are about the doctor.

John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  www.reutershealth.com  www.ccil.org/~cowan
"It's the old, old story. Droid meets droid. Droid becomes chameleon.
Droid loses chameleon, chameleon becomes blob, droid gets blob back
again. It's a classic tale." (Kryten, Red Dwarf)


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