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Re: Review of SWEO "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web"

From: Leo Sauermann <leo.sauermann@dfki.de>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2008 15:08:11 +0100
Message-ID: <47DD29CB.6080103@dfki.de>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, public-sweo-ig@w3.org, tag@w3.org

Hi Dan,

we closed our round of reviews for the 20071217 version of "cool uris" 
and incorporated feedback.
The feedback and resolved issues are here:

After another telco with TAG, we will publish a last-call working draft.

The current version of the editors draft is here:

 from reading your mail and already having addressed the issues brought 
up by Tim,
 I see no further change needed to the document based on your feedback.
 I see a need though to keep the disucssion up AFTER we published it.
 On 24 Feb 2008, at 12:44, Dan Brickley wrote:
 > On 24 Feb 2008, at 05:25, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
 > > 3.1 Distinguishing between web documents and real-world objects
 > >
 > > ** This section has major flaws in its argumentation. It says
 > > "Above we assumed that there is a distinction between web documents
 > > (information resources)andreal-world, non-document objects (non-
 > > information resources). The question is where to draw the line
 > > between them. "
 > >
 > > That is, with respect, NOT the question. That is a question is one
 > > which has proved unproductive.
 > Well said. I like this new spin on this topic.
 we picked it up, and shortened this part. Still, its good to have
 a reference to AWWW.
 > > It is not fruit full to try to define from scratch "Information
 > > resource" The question is to distinguish between something and a
 > > document about something.
 > Yup. We put :primaryTopic (and :isPrimaryTopicOf inverse) to allow
 > this distinction to be stated explicitly.
 and from what I learned from Tim:
 > (Note the AWWSW group is looking at formalizing that more).
 > > That distinction has been introduced already in the document and
 > > explained well. Now we have to explain that 200 means "Here is the
 > > content of the document you requested" and 303 means "Here is the
 > > URI of a document about the thing you requested". When that has
 > > been explained, then the class of things which get a 200 will be
 > > clear by people understanding the protocol.
 > >
 > > Later, it says 'The problem now is that web documents are also part
 > > of our perceived world, hence they are real-world objects in their
 > > own right.". But this is NOT a problem. Once you have thrown out
 > > non-information resources" and replaced it with "things". ((For
 > > example, mobydick#this may denote a book, and mobydick may denote
 > > a library catalog card about the book. Both the book and the card
 > > are documents, one is about the other. That is the relationship
 > > which is important.))
 > It is certainly progress to move away from the line that the world
 > falls into two huge classes, "Information resources" and "Non-
 > information resources".
 > The distinction here is instead between REST representations of
 > something (a concept close to that of a serialization), versus 'mere'
 > descriptions of those things. And deciding where to cut on that line
 > seems to me somehow a matter more of pragmatism.
 > Re things vs documents-about-things, ... are "self describing things"
 > the focus of our previous disagreement?
 > I've previously taken the view that eg. foaf:Person is a self-
 > describing thing, so when you get an HTTP REST representation of it,
 > you get a descriptive representation of it. You never get the thing
 > itself. You have complained that this confuses the thing with its
 > description. Is there a way to rearticulate the discussion of
 > foaf:Person in terms that don't mention information resources?
 I would say: sure, there is,
 but not in this document :-)
 Blog it!
 I removed the parts of 3.2 that are high-philosophy, ending up with this:
 <section 3.1 begin>
 Above we assumed that there is a distinction between web documents and 
things (real-world objects).
 According to W3C guidelines ([AWWW], section 2.2.), we have an Web 
 (there called information resource) if all its essential 
characteristics can
 be conveyed in a message. Examples are a Web page, an image or a 
product catalog.
 The URI identifies both the entity and indirectly the message that 
conveys the
 characteristics. Real-world objects are therefore entities whose 
 can not be conveyed in a message, but are entities on their own.
 The key to understand the difference, is that a Web document often 
describes a thing.
 For example the person Alice is described on her homepage. Bob may not 
like the look
 of the homepage, but fancy the person Alice.
 Our recommendation is to err on the side of caution: Whenever an object 
of interest is
 not clearly and obviously a document (all its essential characteristics 
can be
 conveyed in a message), then it's better to use two distinct URIs, one 
for the
 resource and another one for the document describing it.
 thx for the comments,
Received on Sunday, 16 March 2008 14:09:04 UTC

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