W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-awwsw@w3.org > June 2009

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 UTC

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