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

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

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 17:31:46 -0400
Message-ID: <4A132542.8050703@openlinksw.com>
To: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>
CC: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
David Huynh wrote:
> Sherman Monroe wrote:
>>
>>     To be more specific, these days a news reporter can say
>>     "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" on TV and expect that to mean
>>     something to most of the audience. That's a marvel. Something more
>>     than just the string "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" is
>>     transfered. It's the expectation that if anyone in the audience
>>     were to type "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" into any web
>>     browser, then they would be seeing information served by the
>>     authority associated with some topic or entity called "foobar" as
>>     socially defined. And 99% of the audience would be seeing the same
>>     information. What's the equivalent or analogous of that on the SW?
>>
>>
>> I just want to make sure the analogies are aligned properly and are 
>> salient. The WWW contains only nouns (no sentences). If I have an 
>> interest or service I want to share with others, then I post a 
>> webpage and /share its URL/ with you. In the SW, things are centered 
>> around the crowd, if I have something to say about the an interest, 
>> service, place, person, etc, then I /reference its URL/ in my 
>> statements. So the SW contains sentences that can be browsed. Type 
>> the URL in the WWW browser, you get /the thing /being shared. Type 
>> the URI in the SW browser, you get the /things people say about the 
>> thing/.
> I didn't quite express myself clearly. If you were to take the 
> previous sentence ("I didn't quite express myself clearly"), and 
> encode it in RDF, what would you get? It certainly is something that I 
> said about "the thing", the thing being vaguely what I tried to 
> explain before (how do you mint a URI for that?). The point is that 
> using RDF or whatever other non-natural language structured data 
> representation, you cannot practically represent "the things people 
> say about the thing" in the majority of real-life cases. You can only 
> express a very tiny subset of what can be said in natural language. 
> This affects how people conceptualize and use this medium. If I hear a 
> URI on TV, would I be motivated enough to type it into some browser 
> when what I get back looks like an engineering spec sheet, but 
> worse--with different rows from different sources, forcing me to 
> derive the big picture myself,
>    urn:sdajfdadjfai324829083742983:sherman_monroe
>       name: Sherman Monroe (according to foo.com)
>       age: __ (according to bar.com)
>       age: ___ (according to bar2.com)
>       nationality: __ (according to baz.com)
>       ...
> rather than, say, a natural language essay that conveys a coherent 
> opinion, or a funny video?
>
> David
>
>
>
David,

When you see a URI (a URL is a URI to me) on the TV, or hear one 
mentioned on the TV or Radio, you now have the option to interact with a 
variety of representations associated with the aforementioned Thing 
identified by the URI. You have representational choices that didn't 
exist until now. Choice is inherently optional :-)

A URI by definition cannot presuppose representation. This is the heart 
of the matter.

The Semantic Web Project isn't about a new Web distinct from the 
ubiquitous World Wide Web. I think that sentiment and thinking faded a 
long time ago.

If you are used to seeing a nice looking HTML based Web Page when you 
place URIs in a browser or click on them,  then there's nothing wrong 
with that, always interact with a Web resource using the representation 
that best suits the kind of interaction at hand. Thus, someone else may 
want to know what data was contextualized by the nice looking HTML 
representation (the data behind and around the page), and on that basis 
seek a different representation via the same URI that unveils the kind 
descriptive granularity delivered by an Entity-Attribute-Value graph 
(e.g., RDF).

The revolution is about choice via negotiated representations in a 
manner that's unobtrusive to the Web in its current form.  Nobody has to 
change how they use the Web, we are just adding options to an evolving 
medium.

You've forced my hand, I need to make a movie once and for all :-)

-- 


Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 21:32:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Sunday, 31 March 2013 14:24:20 UTC