W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > May 2009

Re: Owning URIs (Was: Yet Another LOD cloud browser)

From: Sherman Monroe <sdmonroe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 11:28:26 -0500
Message-ID: <e23f467e0905180928i4f59a86ep8fb3b3fdb4d514f6@mail.gmail.com>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
David wrote:

> [...] For example, when I search for Microsoft on Google, the first result
> not only IS what I want, but also LOOKs like what I want. I can make the
> decision to click on it within maybe 1 or 2 seconds. The URL "
> www.microsoft.com" in that search result is perhaps the most convincing
> element, as I know only *the* Microsoft can possibly own that domain. (This
> will be a challenge for any SW search engine, because no-one can own any
> URI, and so, seeing a URI alone means pretty much nothing. That's one of the
> main differences between URL and URI, which is usually swept under the
> rug.)
> David,

I agree with Tim that we can build on the HTTP infrastructure to expose the
ownership of URIs. To me, ownership of a URI (if it is a HTTP-based URI)
means it is owned by the people who control the page at that URI. So for a
Wikipedia URL, the owners are the folks that maintain that page.

I also think that owning a URI in the semantic web has about as much value
as owning your name in real life. In otherwords, I can't control what
statements people make about me in real life. Futhermore, as a person
looking for info about a thing, I may not necessarily be interested in what
the thing says about itself (e.g. I need description/rating/reviews of a
plumber for due diligence purposes). It's valuable in WWW to own a URL
because you can control what a person sees when they go to it, but in URI,
you can't control what folks see when they browse it's linked data.

Why can't the semantic web track 'whois' information of domain ownership,
> and maybe even SLL certificate information, of sites and be aware of the
> social relationships, and use them intelligently? (perhaps more safely than
> a human who will be confused by
> http://www.microsoft.com.1000ripyouoff.crime/ ?) .

A very plausible idea. My question is though, which has the most authority,
the owner of the URI, or the 'crowd' using it? I tend to think that the most
trusted statements come from the folks referencing it (I guess this is the
logic behind Google's algorithms).

> It is true that the delegation of information within a site is not
> typically made explicit (though it could be with site metadata).  But there
> is in general a system of ownership of URIs, it seems to me, and it is
> important on the SW in the social processes by which different groups get to
> define what different terms mean.

Exactly, and HTTP-based authority is definitely belongs in that system of
ownership, but as I stated, there is something to be mentioned about 'the
crowd' being able to be authorities of URIs also.

Received on Monday, 18 May 2009 16:29:07 UTC

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