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Re: Back to HTTP semantics

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2009 09:59:26 -0400
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1244815166.4121.45.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Thu, 2009-06-11 at 17:52 -0400, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM, Pat Hayes<phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:
[  . . . ]
> ...
> >> It is important to distinguish between two cases: One where the URI
> >> owner is providing the metadata, in which case it can be considered
> >> constraining or "authoritative", and another where someone else is
> >> providing the metadata based on what is observed in HTTP responses, in
> >> which case it might be merely speculative.
> >
> > I know Im in the minority here, but I really think this isn't a significant
> > distinction, nor indeed should it be. Ownership of the URI has almost
> > nothing to do with what it refers to. That is determined by how it is
> > *used*, and its inherent in the Web that the publisher has absolutely no
> > control over that once the URI is published.
> 
> Yes, I should have remembered who I was talking to. Ownership only
> matters in TAG court. 

Hold on, that's *way* overstated.  While Pat may not agree that URI
ownership gives *absolute* authority in establishing the referent of a
URI -- and I agree with that, as described in "The URI Lifecycle in
Semantic Web Architecture" http://dbooth.org/2009/lifecycle/ -- it is
quite clear that URI ownership at least has a very strong *influence*.
If http://example/ont#asdf dereferences to an RDF document saying that
that URI denotes an elephant, it is *far* more likely that others will
use that URI to denote an elephant than a tree, other factors being
equal.  So I think, though Pat will have to correct me if I have guessed
wrong, the difference in view is whether URI ownership gives prima facie
evidence of such authority..

> If I rephrase this then I think I may be able to
> dispense with that hypothesis. The scenario is: A publishes at URI U
> an HTML document describing a person (in prose). B observes content
> 200-gotten at U and publishes RDF that says (perhaps indirectly via a
> domain or range restriction) that U names a document. A later
> publishes RDF that says U names a person. A and B agree that no
> document is a person. Contradiction. I think you are saying: Let the
> marketplace decide - either A and B will live in different worlds, or
> one of them will have to choose to back down. Yes? Fine, but a little
> bit of advance advice (such as httpRange-14 convincing A to not say U
> names a person) can go a long way towards preventing such competition
> - same idea as agreeing on which side of the road to drive on.

I agree, but I just want to point out that the httpRange-14 advice is
the other way around.  It does *not* tell A not to say that U names a
person.  Rather, it says that if U, which presumably is under A's
control, yields a 200 response then U names an IR.  But again, there is
no architectural need for Person and IR to be considered disjoint.


-- 
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Friday, 12 June 2009 13:59:58 GMT

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