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Re: URI and Web Architecture Revisited

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 10:27:49 +0000
Message-ID: <473ACDA5.8000105@musc.edu>
To: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
CC: "public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

Peter Ansell wrote:
> On 15/11/2007, Mark Wilkinson <markw@illuminae.com> wrote:
>   
>> Xiaoshu, This is a beautiful synopsis of the problem - THANK YOU for
>> taking the time to write it up as well as you did!  I will be using this
>> in my lectures for sure!  :-)
>>
>> What made me chuckle was how similar the DFDF concept is to the LSID
>> concept... except that the LSID doesn't rely on any HTTP response codes to
>> determine what is what (it's all explicit, since there is no way to ask a
>> URI what it is but to query the metadata; and there is no concept of
>> content-negotiation in LSIDs since all various representations should be
>> referred to explicitly in the metadata... so there are no shortcuts to
>> getting the representation that you desire)
>>
>> Given that we have millions (billions?) of URLs out there in the world,
>> isn't it a bit optimistic to assume that they will all suddenly become
>> adherent to whatever we decide here?
>>
>> Personally, I am inclined to place my trust in a Semantic Web where I know
>> that the URIs I encounter are guarateed to have the behaviour that I
>> expect.  If I can't guarantee that from a URL (and I know that I can't),
>> then I can at least code my software to be more trusting of other kinds of
>> URIs... and non-trusting of URLs...
>>
>> ...na?
>>
>> M
>>     
>
> Personally I think the plain old HTTP REST proposals which include the
> data type in the URL are more valuable than a philosophical statement
> about the difference between information and non-information
> resources. They do not need to worry about response codes because you
> know what you asked for in the URL, by default getting metadata which
> provides the information about the other REST url's which will return
> different formats.
>   
The data type (Content-Type) is still there, no? Honestly, one of the 
reasons that I wrote the article is to show that there isn't any 
difference between Information Resource vs. non-IR.  Even if there were, 
it is a very arbitrary one. What is informational is URI, not resource.  
I think many of us got it wrong in the past, including myself.
> In the case that you actually want to use Semantic Web Enhanced HTML
> pages you still have problems but they are not related to definitions
> of which resource is which as the paper seems to argue. RDFa, meta
> tags and link rel="alternate" seem to be valid solutions for putting
> semantics inside HTML. XSLT stylesheets can be used to style RDF into
> HTML as an alternative.
>
> Do you have any scientifically relevant semantics that can't be
> represented by enhancing HTML, 
Well, first, unless we assume that machine can understand human 
languages, then sure anything written in an HTML can somehow be 
converted to RDF....but I guess that is not in the near future. 
> or by using a strictly RDF directing
> URL as an identifier with other information being directed to from
> there? It is not hard to utilise resources if you know identifiers are
> going to return RDF, or HTML pages will have link rel=alternate in
> them.
>   
I am kind of lost here....can you use an example?

Xiaoshu
Received on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 10:28:12 GMT

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