W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > February 2010

Re: Linking HTML pages and data

From: Sean Bechhofer <sean.bechhofer@manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 09:34:07 +0000
Message-Id: <A2C076D3-FE96-4EBD-8522-7A6823100E4F@manchester.ac.uk>
Cc: public-lod@w3.org
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>

On 16 Feb 2010, at 23:13, Pat Hayes wrote:

> On Feb 16, 2010, at 6:39 AM, Sean Bechhofer wrote:
>> LODders
>> A simple (possibly dumb) question. Is there a standard mechanism  
>> for linking an HTML page to the non-information resource that it  
>> describes?
> Um. OK, I have an equally dumb question in response.

No dumber than mine I'm sure! :-)

> What does it (what can it possibly) mean to *link* to a non- 
> information resource? I have been understanding the usage of "link"  
> to mean that a link is a URI which both refers to the thing being  
> linked to (the linkee) and also provides access to it when used in  
> an HTTP GET. But this latter, of course, exactly what is impossible  
> to do when the linkee is a non-information resource, pretty much by  
> definition.
> Do you mean, a standard mechanism to *refer to* the resource?  
> Because surely that is done simply by *using* the URI which names  
> it. It requires no other 'mechanism'; indeed, I don't think that  
> there possibly could be a mechanism for reference.

You're right -- I don't really mean "link", I mean "refer to".

>> For example, in the page
>> <http://dbpedia.org/page/Mogwai_(band)>
>> I see a number of <link> elements in the header that point me to  
>> alternate representations (rdf, json etc).  There's nothing in the  
>> header that points me to *<http://dbpedia.org/resource/Mogwai_ 
>> (band)>* (as far as I can tell) though.
> But there is an owl:sameAs which links to http://mpii.de/yago/ 
> resource/Mogwai_(band), which appears to be a use of a URI  
> referring to the non-information resource. Is this an example of  
> the kind of link you are looking for?

Not quite. What I want to try and capture is the fact that the  
"primary topic" (to use the term suggested by others) of the page is  
http://dbpedia.org/resource/Mogwai_(band). Just "using" the URI  
doesn't seem to achieve this -- I could use lots of URIs in the page,  
and not all of them may be my intended primary topic.

Why do I want to do this? We're publishing some information about  
things, and hoping to use a "linked data friendly approach". So there  
are URIs for the things which will content negotiate to appropriate  
representations (RDF, HTML etc). What we were concerned about was  
when users end up bookmarking (or sending via email) the HTML pages.  
In that case, how might we *refer* :-) back to the resource that the  
page is describing. Clearly I can include human-readable text in the  
page: "This page is about X", and we will do that, but I was  
wondering if there was a mechanism^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ something that was  
in common usage (and which might then give me some advantages with  
existing tooling).

Discussion above suggests that thing might be <link> with an  
appropriate rel attribute.



Sean Bechhofer
School of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 09:32:39 UTC

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