W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > February 2007

RE: [BioRDF] URI Resolution

From: Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) <dbooth@hp.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 12:32:04 -0500
Message-ID: <EBBD956B8A9002479B0C9CE9FE14A6C202020FDB@tayexc19.americas.cpqcorp.net>
To: "Xiaoshu Wang" <wangxiao@musc.edu>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

> From: Xiaoshu Wang
> > From: David Booth
> > . . . 
> > My overall comment: Yes!  I believe a URI resolution ontology could
> > significantly help address these problems, while still 
> > permitting URIs
> > to be based on the http scheme, thus facilitating bootstrapping and
> > minimizing barriers to adoption.
> >   
> I am very doubtful about the practicality of such an ontology. First, 
> consider the size.  RDF is all about URI.  If an RDF document has n 
> statement, there will be 3n URIs.  If k statements are needed to 
> describe the resolution of one URI, the solution 
> unnecessarily increased the KB k-fold.  . . .

That would be prohibitive, but that is not what I meant.  I meant that k
statements would describe how to handle a large number of URIs all
matching a particular http URI prefix.  For example, if k statements
indicated how URIs that begin with "http://xyzpurl.org?" can be
resolved, then any number of URIs beginning with that prefix would be
syntactically recognizable as being resolvable using those conventions.
So the knowledge base increase would only be an increment of k, not a
factor of k.  

This approach of using http URI prefixes is explained more fully in
"Converting New URI Schemes or URN Sub-Schemes to HTTP" at
http://dbooth.org/2006/urn2http/ .

> Unless, perhaps, you can describe the composition of URI - as 
> a string.  

Yes, that is my intent.

> But, RDF is used to describe resource, which is identified a string.  
> The meaning of these string should be specified "outside" of the 
> system.  

It sounds like you are referring to the difference between making a
statement about a URI as a string versus making a statement about the
resource that is named by that URI, and I agree that distinction is

So to do the above, we will need to have ways to make assertions about
URIs that match a particular pattern.  In 
http://dbooth.org/2006/urn2http/#multiple-ownersYou I outlined how this
can be done:
For example, if the term http://xyzconsortium.org/terms/xyzprefix is
defined to indicate that something is a specialized xyz HTTP prefix,
then metadata served (indirectly) via http://foo.com?fum can indicate
that "http://foo.com?" is a http://xyzconsortium.org/terms/xyzprefix ,
and metadata served (indirectly) via http://bar.com?bee can also
indicate that "http://bar.com?" is a
http://xyzconsortium.org/terms/xyzprefix .
However, I'm not sure what would be the best way to write something like
this in OWL.  Suggestions?

Incidentally, there was recently a proposal for a "Protocol for Web
Description Resources (POWDER)" working group
http://www.w3.org/2006/12/powder_charter  (W3C member-only link)
that was circulated to the W3C membership for input, and one of its aims
was to "develop a mechanism through which structured metadata
('Description Resources') can be authenticated and applied to groups of
Web resources".  If this work is taken up by W3C, it could provide
standard ways to express such assertions.  In the meantime we can define
our own ways.

David Booth
Received on Friday, 2 February 2007 17:32:48 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:52:29 UTC