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Re: AWWSW vs. httpRange-14

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 08:16:24 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTikmZ3XXfu4zs5y8xspy+GVzSVbHB5aETNe0n5Zm@mail.gmail.com>
To: nathan@webr3.org
Cc: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
> Jonathan Rees wrote:
>>
>> What I mean is, that currently when someone wants to say that a
>> document has a title or a license, they use the document's URI (the
>> URI from which they GET the document or its "representation") as the
>> subject of an RDF statement.
>>
>> I have interpreted the httpRange-14 resolution as reflecting a
>> suggestion that people use these URIs in this way (and not in some
>> other way). This has been widely assumed, e.g. FOAF and CC REL.
>>
>> This practice has been questioned, so we have to consider other
>> options in order to do an honest appraisal of the alternatives.
>
> I'd also question the practise, in fact I'd say that referring to a
> representation by the URI where you GET it is dangerous and should be
> discouraged.

Well, this is never what was proposed, that's why such a big deal was
made of distinguishing an 'information resource' from its
'representations'. The IR might be an abstraction, a sort of 'cryptic
class' of representations, so that conneg can give you either
text/html or text/plain, and different GETs can make slight format or
margin ad changes, without changing the 'identity' of the resource, as
long as the 'what it says' is preserved. This was never made rigorous,
but in simple cases I think it makes perfect sense. Not exactly the
same as FRBR, but sort of similar.

> Thus more than happy to push doing an honest appraisal of the alternatives,
> it would be time well spent (imho).
>
> However, I'm also aware that the httpRange-14 resolution was a rule to cater
> for perceived social conventions at the time, a reversal of that rule would
> simply be changing it to suit perceived social conventions at this time,
> social convention changes, and convention is different within different
> social groups.

It's not *just* social convention (like driving on the left or right
hand side), it's technical design to meet combinations of needs, some
of which include interaction with other technical designs.

>> So it sounds like you're in the don't-be-unclear camp with Alan,
>> Harry, and Larry. Am I the only one here trying to explain and
>> maintain the value of the current investment in metadata?
>
> If it helps I'm in both camps, and my own little one, don't-be-unclear is
> good and works in some situations, in other situations (most of the web)
> ambiguity is inherent, and in both sets of situations, rules and ambiguity
> are exploited.

The reason for building consensus around rules is interoperability or
'reducing ambiguity', so things can communicate and work together. Of
course ambiguity is inherent, but steps can be taken to reduce it. In
the case of httpRange-14 the TAG made a rule (expressed very badly but
based on a good idea) with this in mind, unfortunately without
building consensus.

>> I would think one way to go would be to explain why these metadata
>> assertions work socially, and under what limitations, and then try to
>> build consensus around whatever it is we learn. If not then we'll have
>> to retract every bit of advice ever given about writing metadata in
>> RDF.
>
> What has been said cannot be unsaid. I agree that we have to focus on how
> things work socially, and to that end httpRange-14 is orthogonal.

I'm not sure I'd say it that way. There is a real technical design
problem. The requirements come from people. To get consensus you have
to make sure not too many people are too unhappy. That involves both
careful design and persuasion. Etc. etc.

Best
Jonathan

> Best,
>
> Nathan
Received on Saturday, 12 February 2011 14:22:39 GMT

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