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Re: BioRDF Telcon

From: Jonathan Rees <jonathan.rees@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 11:04:18 -0400
Message-ID: <3cff5e070706250804q34ed0158k8c0a8ef7f21426f6@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Susie M Stephens" <STEPHENS_SUSIE_M@lilly.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

Susie asked me to put together a list of potentially contentious
issues.  Here are few that I thought of.

- Purpose.  The recommendations document is in effect a plea for
  others to publish RDF according to certain "recommendations", and an
  agreement to work with what each of us publishes assuming we follow
  those same recommendations.  Do others agree?

- Univocality.  I would like to recommend that a URI is not "good enough"
  for our purposes if it is used to denote two things.  I know that
this technique
  (e.g. using the same URI for a resource and its metadata) has been
  defended in the past (maybe not inside HCLS).

- Well-definedness.  I would like to recommend that a URI is not "good
  enough" if it is not well defined.  Some say that URI's without a
  clearly defined "meaning" (referent and/or rules of use in RDF)
  can't be used in semantic web applications.  Other say, or imply,
  that they can.

- Avoid speculation.  I would like to recommend that uses of URI's be based
  on rules, not heuristics.  However, some people recommend e.g. the
  "follow your nose" approach to metadata harvesting, which is
  heuristic.  Content negotiation also falls in this category.

- Opaqueness of URIs.  Does it matter at all?  If so,
  what's important - URN vs. HTTP, etc.?  If not, how does resolution
  work?  W3C recommends use of HTTP URIs and wants URIs to resolve
  (to 200's for IRs, 303's for non-IRs).  OTOH some people seem to
  still like URNs, either in spite of the fact that they don't
  resolve, or maybe because they don't.  Should "good enough" URI's
  reveal anything about their denotations?

- URIs for public resources.  In order for us to work together we
  clearly need to share URIs for things that we talk about,
  e.g. Entrez database records.  The devil is in the details: how do
  the get URIs defined and documented, how do we ensure that there's
  no punning (e.g. gene record vs. gene), who is the authority for the
  URIs, how do they resolve (if at all).  Only after we answer all of
  these questions should we decide what the exact URI's should be.

- Shared resolution rules.  Do we need
  this level of abstraction?  (The answer may depend on answers to
  other questions.)  If so, how should the rules be written - in RDF maybe?

- Versioning.  What is it for, what does it mean, how is it expressed?
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 15:04:36 GMT

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