W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org > May 2008

Real URLs for real things

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 16:53:57 +0200
To: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.ua7ab7lqsmjzpq@acer3010>

Mark and I were at XTech last week. I gave my talk on "Why you should have  
a Website" (http://2008.xtech.org/public/schedule/detail/545) which gives  
a background to why we need RDFa, and Mark gave a lightning talk on RDFa.  
But in fact RDFa seemed to be the buzzword of the conference, and every  
other talk seemed to mention it. The most exciting was Jeni Tennison's  
talk on adding RDFa to the London Gazette (published daily since 1665).
http://2008.xtech.org/public/schedule/detail/528

Another interesting one was about a Semantic Web search engine called  
Sindice
http://2008.xtech.org/public/schedule/detail/583
in which the speaker talked about the sort of mistakes that people made  
when encoding semantic information. For instance, somewhere there is a  
FOAF page that says that Tim Berners-Lee's homepage is http://www.w3.org/,  
and somewhere else that says that W3C's home page is http://www.w3.org/,  
and so the search engine concluded that Tim and W3C are the same thing.

Another problem that was constantly recurring, he said, was due to the  
confusion between a page, and the thing it represented.

And that set me thinking. Saying stuff about something that doesn't have a  
URL is hard, hard in RDFa, hard in RDF, and usually needs blanknodes,  
which our grandmothers are never going to understand.

So, does anyone feel that they have enough energy for us to propose a new  
type of URL, the primary topic of:

	pto:http://www.w3.org/ is the W3C
	pto:http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee is Tim BL
	pto:mailto:timbl@w3.org is also Tim BL
	pto:http://rdfa.info/ is RDFa

and so on. You would never be expected to dereference such a URL, and you  
can see that you are talking about a meta subject by inspection, and you  
can automatically derive:

	<pto:http://www.w3.org/> foaf:isPrimaryTopicOf <http:www.w3.org/>

It seems to me that it would be far easier to use than all that "#me"  
stuff and all those 303 replies you have to organise to do it right (or is  
it 302?).

Steven
Received on Thursday, 15 May 2008 14:54:40 GMT

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