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AWWSW vs. httpRange-14

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 10:38:12 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTin=9MJjhnhJvpOhCVowQMWMWjyv8W_2zN9QfzV5@mail.gmail.com>
To: AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
In my current view there are two issues:

1. What notation do we use to write a reference to an 'information resource'?
2. What does such a reference mean, such that it can be used to good
effect in various kinds of statements (eg. Dublin Core, FOAF, CC REL)?

Clearly these interact, but pretend for a minute that they don't.

#1 is related to Harry's complaint that # and 303 are too hard; he
doesn't like it that we use dereferenceable URIs as references to
information resources, because he thinks those URIs can be put to
better use.  (IIUC.)

#2 was the complaint that created AWWSW: If I *do* use a term (URI or
anything else) referring to an "information resource" in a proposition
(metadata), what do I mean, even if the webarch is assumed; and might
we either record or set expectations for their use.

The TAG was convinced this week that an issue needs to be opened for
#1, and I will be moving that forward.

It was already convinced #2 was a question, and that's how AWWSW was
established.

I think that Harry and Alan (and Larry Masinter) are saying something
similar, which is: If it matters whether your meaning is clear, then
IR references do not stand on their own, as they are inherently
unclear.  To obtain interoperability, you have to stop talking about
'the information resource at a URI' entirely, regardless of how you
refer to them. IR is a lost cause.

This cuts both ways. If you want to be clear that you mean to use an
http: URI to refer to something described in the accessed document,
you need to write some statements to that effect. (This is clearly
even harder than using # or 303.) If you want to be clear that you
want it to mean the document, you also need to say something.  (So
Creative Commons and FOAF would need to retool.)

In this pessimistic view it's only if you don't care about being clear
that http: URIs serve as references.

In either case RDF graph merging (i.e. interoperability) is defeated
since to merge a graph using a URI in one way with a graph using a URI
in the other way either one or the other graph would need
alpha-conversion, a rather nasty procedure.

(There is a somewhat different story in the OWL context but I think
much of this still applies.)

The way to get interoperability is to stop using http: URIs (or at
least hashless ones) for reference entirely. In this case we would
still need a 'web semantics' to provide a vocabulary for talking about
the documents that we find on the web, and perhaps relating them to
the things they describe.  So the AWWSW project is in a sense
independent of the notational question of what RDF terms we use to
refer to IRs or documents.

I hope it's clear I haven't completely given up on this as Harry and
Alan have. However I do consider despair an option.

By the way I had forgotten about TAG Issue 39
http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/group/track/issues/39 , which seems to be
forgotten and forlorn. I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to
track #1 and/or #2 under this issue; I sort of disagree with the
formulation of the problem and I'm not sure AWWSW is a part of this.
I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on the relation of our
work to issue 39.

Jonathan
Received on Friday, 11 February 2011 15:38:45 GMT

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