W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sw-meaning@w3.org > December 2003

URI-meaning through collaboration

From: Jan Algermissen <jalgermissen@topicmapping.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 22:04:16 +0100
Message-ID: <3FE75C50.ED534809@topicmapping.com>
To: public-sw-meaning@w3.org


I think I finally understood the "meaning of URI" issue. I
am very curious what people think of the following:

"The meaning[1] of a URI is the sum of the semantics of all
 uses of that URI".

The main idea here is collaboration. Each use of a URI contributes
to it's meaning and the (current) meaning is the sum of all 
such contributions (known to date).

This creates a picture of the meaning of a URI being in constant
flow, but gaining stability through increased (similar) usage. If
a URI does not reach a critical point of stability...well, then it
propably wasn't good enough in the first place.

This puts the naming authority in a position of responsibility
to care for a young and fragile URI, slowly raising it to be
strong (semantically stable) as opposed to 'dictating it's
semantics up front). 

After all, who can 'define' the meaning of a name if not the
community that uses the name?

How does that sound?


[1] For readability I use "meaning of a URI" instead of "semantics
of the resource a URI addresses"

Jan Algermissen                           http://www.topicmapping.com
Consultant & Programmer	                  http://www.gooseworks.org
Received on Monday, 22 December 2003 16:03:54 UTC

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