W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > December 2001

Re: Resolution for rdfms-fragments

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 21:59:41 -0600
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B8359ACD.EC6E%me@aaronsw.com>
On 2001-12-06 9:20 PM, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org> wrote:

>>> Or give a use case that you think is insufficiently
>>> specified? (i.e. not a foo/bar/baz example)
>> I don't know what http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#value means.
> How does this relate to fragments?
> Do you know what http://dm93.org/2002/frobnitz means?

Well, it's meaning is specified by the URI RFC, so yes, at least in the
sense I meant here.
> Do you expec the RDF spec to tell you what it means?

No. That is the problem.
>>> Or some piece of code that's acting funny,
>>> or difficult to write or interoperate with?
>> Well, the entire installed base of HTTP servers would be a good place to
>> start, seeing as they don't support URIs with fragments.
> Sure they do, vacuuously: the fragment is stripped off before the
> request,
> so the server never sees it. There's no problem interoperating
> between HTTP servers and RDF software whatsoever.
> If there is, please explain.

Let me try this again:

HTTP is a way to retrieve (supposedly authoritative) information about the
meaning of an HTTP URI. I can get back a redirect, establishing something of
an equivalence between URIs, I can get back RDF metadata on it, or I can get
back an Unauthorized refusal.

HTTP cannot give me any of this information on a URI with a fragment in it.
All the tools I have to find out information about a HTTP URI don't work
when fragments are invited.

>> Similarly, systems
>> like WebDAV or access control built on top of that don't support them.
> Again, yes, they do, vacuously. (i.e. by not doing anything).
> Fragment support is all in the clients.

Exactly. I'm not sure about you, but I consider the Web in the network, not
in the client.
>> Add on to that everyone with a tool that conforms to the URI RFC.
> Where is the interoperability difficulty? All the RDF
> software I know of gets along just fine with all
> sorts of URI-RFC-happy software.

Well there appears to be a (rather sad) schism between the IETF and W3C
worlds. I suspect your stuff sits on the W3C side of the fence, which is why
it works. On the other side, my stuff chokes.

I'm hoping we can start patching up the divide. I'm approaching it from this
side, since RDF's deployed base is trivial in comparison to HTTP servers.

>>  Finally,
>> their mapping to Resources isn't well defined, or defined at all depending
>> on your point of view.
> Their mapping to resources is just as defined as any other
> sort of URI. Please re-read the model theory draft.

This is exactly why it's not well-defined. If any draft can define their
mapping to Resources, then that's a lot of confusion, is it not? I mean, if
the W3C can do it, why can't I? My Frobnitz draft says all fragments resolve
to the literal string "cheese".

It seems the W3C is ignoring the consensus on this issue that was reached at
great expense by the IETF's Working Group. If you want to reconsider that
consensus and put out an updated spec, I suppose that'd be acceptable, but
simply sticking your nose up at the decision and going against what it says
doesn't seem like reasonable behavior for a standards body the caliber of
the W3C.

If we're dealing with URIs and URI-refs, I consider them to be defined by
the URI RFC. It defines URIs quite well, but throws URI refs to the dogs, it
seems. I've been over the details with you several times on IRC, but I
suppose I can repeat myself if it's so necessary.

Even for all your pleas to just see the Model Theory draft it simply dodges
the question, saying that "It treats URIs as simple names". It also claims
that it's dealing with URIs[RFC2396], when it plainly is not. I don't see
how the Model Theory helps matters. It seems to only make matters worse.

>> Basically, RDF isn't compatible with the rest of the (non-W3C) Web.
> I see repeated claims of that; I see no justification, however.
> This is called "argument by assertion." Two can play
> at that game: yes, RDF is compatible with the
> rest of the Web, W3C or otherwise.

As this point as been made to you a number of times in a number of different
venues, trying to explain things as best as can, I can only conclude that
you're playing "argument by not listening". Or as Sean B. Palmer says:
"emigrating, joining a space program to a planetary body with no atmosphere,
rocketing off, and then burying your head in the ground with your fingers in
your ears and screaming 'nur nur nur, I'm not listening'". ;-)

[ This is not meant to imply Sean B. Palmer's position on either side of the
issue. ] 

>> I guess another solution would be to just rename RDF to be Random
>> Description Framework or something, and not claim that the things it
>> described were Resources.
> I still don't see the problem for which this "solution" is needed.

I'm not sure what else I can do to open your eyes. I'm rather tempted to
say, "Denial is more than just a river in Egypt" but I sense it's at the
bounds of polite discourse.

[ "Aaron Swartz" ; <mailto:me@aaronsw.com> ; <http://www.aaronsw.com/> ]
Received on Thursday, 6 December 2001 22:59:42 UTC

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