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Re: Proposal, a new class of Web Names

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 00:06:19 +0000
Message-ID: <4D59C37B.70003@webr3.org>
To: AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
CC: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Some additional notes I forgot (well hadn't written up properly, and 
still haven't!):

qnames/curies would then be an alias for a namespace, and the ':' would 
not be part of the alias (/prefix), such that

     ( http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema , label )

      rdfs -> http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#

      ( rdfs , label )

As for properties like those in FOAF and dcterms, you wouldn't be able 
to shorten them (using existing URIs), you could still use the 
properties though because:

     ( http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/name , '' )
   Lexical Forms

When applied to RDF, then in built would be the meaning:

    label, as described by http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema

for the WebName

   ( http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema , label )

although "defined by" or "named by" or "according to" may be more 

This might(?) add in some inbuilt provenance, and also would make 
owl:sameAs and related quite interesting (and perhaps more in-line with 

Lots of other "effects", it would force consistency of naming in things 
like rdfa, because <div id="foo" about="#foo"> would both create the 
same webname and thus need to be consistent for follow your nose.

It would also then mean that things like <link rel="stylesheet" 
href="css.css" /> would create the triple:

   [] xhv:stylesheet css.css .

likewise xhv:license unless a subject was specifically set etc..

Too much to cover, and I may have gone down yet another non-sense path - 
so will wait for feedback.



Nathan wrote:
> Hi Guys,
> Please do read over the following and let me know what you think - might 
> be somewhat of a different approach ->
> [[[
> Problem Statement and Background.
> The Web has long since provided names as a way of referring to things, 
> from time to time the specification of these names has had to be 
> revised, in order to match their usage on the Web as it evolves.
> With the rise of the Semantic Web, Media Fragments and Web Applications, 
> the usage of these names, especially http names, has changed to become 
> either inconsistent with the current URI specification or their usage is 
> simply unspecified.
> A side effect of this new usage, is that various communities have 
> differing opinions on just what a URI can or does refer to, and on how 
> those URIs can be used. This leads to tensions between communities which 
> are trying to converge, and in the worst case threatens the evolution of 
> those communities and their respective technologies.
> The web communities using these URIs share two common requirements, they 
> need to use absolute URIs to refer to network accessible resources, and 
> they require some form of indirect referencing, frequently turning to 
> fragment identifiers for this purpose.
> One of the most contended uses of URIs, is when they are used to refer 
> to abstract concepts or things evoked by the processing of 
> representations, for example:
>  - A thing which is described within a representation, i.e. a person.
>  - A particular application state or recomposable view provided by the 
> application.
>  - Some particular scene within a movie.
> Contentions are usually particularly high when a URI of the absolute-URI 
> form is used for this purpose.
> In order to address this problem, it is suggested that a new class of 
> Web Names is needed. A class which is disjoint with the current set of 
> names (URIs/IRIs), fully compatible with those names, and which models 
> existing naming conventions.
> Proposal - Web Names.
> Web Names provide a web friendly way of referring to things, each 
> WebName is a 2-tuple comprising of a namespace and a name.
>   WebName  = ( namespace , name )
> The namespace part of a WebName takes the syntactic form of an 
> absolute-IRI, the namespace typically refers to a network accessible 
> resource.
> Each namespace has an infinite pool of locally scoped references, within 
> different contexts there often exists a need to expose one of those 
> references, for example:
>  - a reference to something which is described
>  - a reference to a particular state or information view
>  - a reference to a function or a variable
>  - a reference to a particular time sequence and area within a video
> The name part of a WebName provides a way to expose these indirect 
> references, the name can take the syntactic form of the primary-ref (an 
> empty string) or a reference (a string consisting of one or more 
> characters), the name provides an anchor to refer to things named within 
> a namespace.
> WebNames have the following syntax:
>   web-name     =  namespace local-name
>   namespace    =  absolute-IRI
>   local-name   =  [ "#" ] primary-ref / "#" reference
>   primary-ref  =  0<ipchar>
>   reference    =  1*( ipchar / "/" / "?" )
> Since WebNames are 2-tuples and IRIs are strings, the value space of 
> WebNames is completely disjoint with the value space of IRIs, however, 
> the lexical form of each WebName is also a valid IRI, as such:
>   IRI          =  http://example.com/foo/bar#baz1
>                   \________________________/ \__/
>                                   |           /
>   WebName      =             ( namespace , name )
> By sharing a lexical form which always produces a valid IRI, WebNames 
> are fully compatible with the deployed web technologies, require no 
> changes to be made, and are backwards compatible with existing IRIs 
> which have been minted/used for the purpose of indirect referencing.
> Due to WebNames being 2-tuples, they cannot be dereferenced, this serves 
> to null and void many of the most complicated and contentious issues 
> outlined earlier, WebNames have been designed in such a way so that 
> communities can opt-in to using them and focus on converging their 
> technologies rather than trying to answer unanswerable questions.
> It is often the case that a network accessible resource is configured to 
> provide information primarily about a single thing, for this purpose a 
> WebName consisting of a namespace and a primary-ref can be used.
> When the name part of a WebName is the primary-ref, then the hash ("#") 
> is optional, such that the WebName:
>   ( "http://example.com/foo/bar" , "" )
> can be specified using either of the following lexical forms:
>   http://example.com/foo/bar#
>   http://example.com/foo/bar
> and such that both those lexical forms encode the same WebName.
> ]]]
> Still needs work, especially on the text, but I think that's enough to 
> get across what I'm proposing in the meantime. Thoughts and feedback 
> more than appreciated.
> Best,
> Nathan
Received on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 00:08:18 UTC

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