For humans to read and edit quads, they should be displayed and edited with humanly understood words.

About: quads

It seems obvious, yet stangely enough developers on the web continually forget it.   Notable even the W3C mentions the reason for quads is an easily parasble format, but not that is is easily understood by humans.  Nevertheless the W3C has encouraged people to read and write quads.   In my original proposal  i emphasized this purpose …

Quads is a language designed to be easily read and written by both humans and automated agents.

Seth Russell ~ 2002

Fact is, however, the URI which make up the quads are not readily recognized as words and cannot be be easily written.  Fortunately the W3C in their wisdom designed the rdfs ontology to provide the data which, with a bit of work on developers part,  provides the solution …

3.6 rdfs:label

rdfs:label is an instance of rdf:Property that may be used to provide a human-readable version of a resource's name.

So that if we include these additional “label” arcs in the quads table  we will have all the data necessary to make our system easily readable and writable by our human hosts wink


Note this will not slow down a running system, for the original node identifiers and references in each quad element should remain the actual identifiers and not their English labels.   However when a human sees and edits these operative quads, like in the System Quad Editor,  the screen should show the label and not the computer identifier.  … so we ask the computer and the developer to do a bit of extra work so the humans amoung us can have it a bit easier when they need to read and write quads.


  1. quads
  2. sem browser


Holmes says
LOL … I think that is good in general. But I also thinks the Seth dude who made the quote is a product of his times. What is easily readable and writable is constantly in motion. What seems easy to someone who went though schooling in the 1950’s is completely different that what seems easy to someone schooled in the 1990’s, and the rate of change is increasing rapidly. Consider children today under 10 years old who use minecraft and text each other with codes and words and language constructs that probably seem completely unreadable to most anyone born before 1970. For all we know, in 10 years High School children may consider JSON more readable and writable than the works of Shakespeare. They may consider it that way today even! (and if you start reading here, read all 6 comments in this set before composing a response … thank you)

Holmes says
Also consider that a number is not harder to remember than a word. Research showing this was done in the early 1900’s and lead to the naming of most state highways in Ohio and several other eastern states by number only. That names seem easier to remember is indicative of a particular class of people who grew up in an environment where names were more prevalent. Chinese is hard for westerners to learn too, but not if you grow up in China.

I’m not advocating for any switching to numbers. I am just saying, easy is relative, don’t plan easy around how tags are made unless you have a well understood and isolated group you are targeting. Do what you do and what you can, no other planning is really necessary.

Holmes says
And p.p.s. I deliberately put group 94 in my note to you to be obscure. It was a deliberate part of my message and how I was hiding and emphasizing the hiding of a very important and powerful utility. I could have put the group name and even looked it up to do so, but thought better of it when I realized the number would also work inside a group reference … cool zero-development-time feature!

Notwithstanding the other things I say about how names (tags really) are relative and contextual in ease or difficulty and constantly changing and at an accelerating pace.

Holmes says What we look like, think like, and especially how we communicate, will be vastly different in the very new future … within the lifetime of most of our young children, who will live much longer than we do as well. No reason not to lean toward that today IMHO.

Holmes says
And finally. The quad system utilized in is to a degree a hybrid system. Designed to take advantage of quad theology where it helps, while honoring the limitations of current software and databases, which index and process numbers much more efficiently than text, where speed can be gained. And that speed gain is significant, not small percentages, but often orders of magnitude, in my actual testing of this system. One test ran 30 times faster using integers over group names.

And still, the system does not display those numbers to anyone anywhere unnecessarily, but shows names in all places. The RAW quad editor does show the numbers, but it is not intended for general use. It is a first generation developer tool. Final editors that relate to the quad table will not show numbers, they will not need to. We do not intend for humans to read our quads or even know what quads are. Humans will read our thoughts. Dealing with quads directly is much to tedious for any wizard, other than the prime origin, to consider, no matter how wordy the quads may look.

So although I agree with the general idea that it is nice to have human readable quads by the generation of humans commonly dealing with those quads, I don’t think that general idea applies to what we are doing here much and should not be something that keeps you from getting sleep at night. All is well here.

Holmes says
And furthermore. I put an extra half hour of work this morning, long before you wrote this, into the “rights editor” so that those pull down filter boxes had names, and nicknames, and ids’s in them so that you (and I) would easily know what was what. I essentially did exactly what you are requesting in the “rights editor” where it was possible to do so. The direct table is edited via the bootstrap plugin (except for the JSON fields) so I could not mask the numbers with names there without duplicating that whole editing layer with my own code. I actually was a step ahead of you on this … as far as I could be without another day of work into it anyway.

Seth says
Well people …. and in particular domain administrators in this case …. are not going to be able to use you quads browser editor in any practical way … it simply will not catch on.   Any attempt to use is, even trivially, involves the person looking up who the number refers to … the same for all the other things in the table … that is way too tedious for a practical tool.  People do not naturally associate numbers to people or groups or things, they associate these to names.  That is a fact that does not get obscured by any kind of new aged evolution.   It is the way human language works. 

This is not the only quads browser on the web … i can show you quite a few more … i even made a couple myself.   To know what you are doing in a broader sense you could try to get (and add) some actual useful information from (to) some of these.  I assure you that, if your are at all objective, you will want to see the labels designated for humans to read and not the identifiers which are designed for computer threading … er, at least in so far as you are still human. 

Holmes says
It is probably a very good thing casual people and even somewhat more knowledgeable wizards would not use the raw developer quads table editor. It is not a casual subject and object table. It is a very exact system control resource. I believe I said it would be too tedious before you did (above) and even qualified that it would be too tedious even if you replaced numbers with names.

There is too much information there in too many different formats that has to be exact or the system will break and crash and burn. It is entirely a different matter when you are using quads to model the real world or some other thing, than it is to use quads to control and manage the inner workings of a system.

I put this resource in t&h exactly so that it will not get copied along to others. As I noted on it with a nice disclaimer, it is for developers only. If I didn’t need your help in design, I would not have given you access to it. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I should just do things and you will live with the results like all other wizards. I consider you the prime origin.

Really this conversation makes no sense. Your desires around quad tables apply to them for a completely different use. A system controlling quad table like this is not that kind, and perhaps should not be called a quad table. It is really a multi-indexed properties table. The formal context and subject relationship is ignored in many places. It is designed to work efficiently with the needs of the system. That we can look at and edit directly is just a nice perk. It will never be a true quad table, and putting layers on top of it to make it try and be more like one is unnecessary.

Holmes says
Help design views that work well for specific tasks, like managing rights, and managing domain properties, and managing group properties like permanence. That will help move things along.

Seth says
seth of group seth 2016-02-23 07:26:33 [item 20118#46492]
whatever.   you are clearly not into developing a practical quads browser.   you should move or delete your comments above which are irrelevant to that goal, and obstruct it.
Poe of group da 2016-02-23 07:31:40 [item 20118#46493]
I have no idea what you are talking about comments above. Every one of my comments and notes, even before this thought started, have qualified that this is not a general quad table. So yea, I am still not into trying to make a general quad table editor that works on something that is not a general quad table. It’s a ton of extra work and no matter how hard I try, it will never really work right … there are too many variations and discrepancies in the structure that would have to be handled case by case, not in a general way.

Even just group names for instance. I can’t handle them by always converting an id to a group name. Not all numbers are group names. I would have to have a rule that says “if verb is in the ‘rights’ column and there is a number in the subject and in the context column, then the context column contains a group name’ and another for when the context has the word ‘group’ in it etc.”. Simply not practical.
yep, like i said, you are clearly not into it … though it is almost a trivial development.   If you actually did read this thought, you could not have missed that it was intended to get a practical quads browser going here.   so fine, you are not into it.  But this proposal of mine is clearly written and very pertinent to what may happen later.  Your comments here do nothing to enhance that possibility.   Eventually i may use this node to further my vision and do not want these irrelevant comments obscuring it. 

I consider the matter closed … no need to argue it further.

Holmes says
I read the thought. The rdfs stuff doesn’t apply here. If we had only a quad table then it would apply up to the point the structure deviated and became ambiguous. But we have group and post tables that contain that same information. There is no reason to duplicate the group names in the quads table as rffs information just so we can have a quads editor that would still be broken in a number of other ways. The duplication and keeping in sync of both names would be a lot of excess code for that one purpose only.

And even after applying rdfs, there is still the problem that group id numbers and author id numbers both appear in all 4 different columns in different system use contexts. There is no rdfs scheme I know of that can resolve that ambiguity automatically. It would require special rules in the editor to detect and deal with every single case of where an id can appear and figure out which kind it is to look up the right name.

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