More use cases for nondescript resources

nondescript is a funny word. Quite sure I did not catch its correct meaning when I first heard it. It has no real equivalent in French. Indescriptible is too strong, it refers to something too extraordinary to be described, whereas nondescript is actually too ordinary to deserve a proper description. Or is it that any description would miss the point? The free online dictionary says : Lacking distinctive qualities; having no individual character or form. Maybe in fact nondescripts remain such because those features which makes their individuality are too subtle to be captured, or this capture would be useless.
Anyway, let's take them as they are : no description. What does a nondescript look like in RDF? Well, easy, it's a resource with no description. No type, no identity, no properties, certainly not even worth a URI. A blank node with no property whatsoever. Rings a bell now? After the previous post, I've come out with more use cases for those nondescript resources, and how natural language uses them as binding points. Examples

John walks through the neighborhood where Ann is working.

:John :walksThrough _:n
:Ann :worksIn _:n

In The Rule of Four (currently reading) Vincent and Richard have different theses about Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Paul prefers Richard's thesis.

:Vincent :hasThesis _:tV
:Richard :hasThesis _:tR
:Paul :prefers _:tR

Now the "Class or Concept" example comes naturally as just another case

a:Restaurant a owl:Class
b:Restaurant a skos:Concept

a:Restaurant :represents _:x
b:Restaurant :represents _:x

Cloud hidden, whereabouts unknown. (Similar stuff in the early '70s)


  1. what are you talking about?!?!
    seriously, I have no idea

  2. Jude, too bad, but I just had a quick look at your blog, and I have no idea what you are about either.
    Actually that's exactly what we try to explore here at univers immedia : how do we, humans networked by machines, figure what we are about, and when we are about the same thing(s) or not.
    Anyway, having no idea is a good starting point. Keep reading, and try to figure out.

  3. well, what's an RDF, for starters?

    and the keep reading goes both ways! don't hesitate to ask

  4. Jude is about the same thing; finding relationships between things and ideas. Big time. I have this sense that once the relational mathematicians come to grips with the symbolic knowledge representers, there's going to be fireworks. The valuable kind...

    RDF is shorthand for resource description framework, where you represent bits of human information as triples: (subject)(predicate)(object).
    It turns out that, while the typical representation schemes, whether with RDF or similar frame-like representations, are set theoretic in nature, there is room to think in terms of category theoretic representations with the same symbols.


Comments welcome