W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > June 2007

Re: What if an URI also is a URL

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 10:07:08 -0400
Message-ID: <466EA88C.9020000@musc.edu>
CC: semantic-web@w3.org, swick@w3.org


>> To use it for something else is an error.
>
> But surely if you make this ruling then it is up to you to tell me 
> enough about what it is supposed to be used for, so that I can know 
> when Im making an error. HOW??  And what about a URI that I own and 
> wish it to denote, say, the planet Venus, or my pet cat? What do I do, 
> to attach the URI to my intended referent for it?
I think the key of the debate is this question: by what sense is 
homonyms an error? Certainly, homonyms is not an architectural error 
since it won't crash the web and nothing can prevent it from being 
created.  But the objective of building the web is to communicate by 
sharing.  And from this perspective, homonyms should be an error or at 
least an inferior design in terms of maximizing communication because 
homonym makes the meaning of the resource it identifiers ambiguous and, 
therefore, its resource less communicatable.  Sure, anyone can use the 
same URI to identify him/herself and his/her homepage.  But s/he should 
be willing to accept the consequence that s/he be perceived in the web 
that s/he has a certain byte-length and encoded in UTF-8 and also 
his/her webpage has hair, eye color, sex, birthday, spouse and children 
etc. A machine agent could careless if this makes sense or not because 
there could be a world where such kind of creatures exist.  The question 
is: is this what we/you really want? I know it is not for me because if 
I make my URI like that, I felt there would be less people/agent willing 
to understand me, hence making me (or my URI) more and more isolated in 
the web. But I bet there are peoples in the world who don't think like me.

Perhaps I am shallow, but I don't see why there should be too much 
debate (this and another thread on Tag).  The bottom line is simple and 
straight forward.  If you want to communicate my URI clearly and 
unambiguously, follow what Sandro said.  httpRange-14 may not be the 
best solution but it is a reasonable one.  Else, do whatever it pleases 
you and you are at your own.

That is my two cents.

Xiaoshu
Received on Tuesday, 12 June 2007 14:07:39 UTC

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