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Re: Documented MIME-type dependency of fragment identifiers

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 17:54:07 -0400
Message-ID: <3D26157F.9060304@mitre.org>
To: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
CC: RDF core WG <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>

Graham Klyne wrote:

> During a recent informal telephone discussion, I was asked to post 
> references to documentation indicating that the interpretation of 
> fragment identifiers on URIs, in normal web use, is considered to be 
> dependent on the MIME content-type of the resource representation obtained.



I admit and understand (at least to some extent) the many complications 
that arise in considering this issue (I've read many of the email 
discussions, and RFC2396 numerous times).  And I don't disagree with 
anything you've said.  However, I think one point that seems to escape 
many folks who have been deeply immersed in these issues for some time, 
and that is in many respects behind the confusion that arises among 
"less-versed" people when this issue comes up, is that what many (most?) 
people see as "normal web use" (to use your phrase) is fairly analogous 
to the way RDF wants to use fragment identifiers.  The M&S said "If a 
fragment identifier is included in the URI-reference then the resource 
identifier refers only to the subcomponent of the containing resource 
that is identified by the corresponding fragment id internal to that 
containing resource..."  If I look at the way you yourself have used 
fragment ids in the quoted material below from your message, it seems 
perfectly clear that you mean to identify in the first case Section 6.3 
in your overview document, and issue httpRange-14 in the TAG issues 
list;  exactly the things that any Web browser I'm familiar with 
presents you with when you access these URI references (i.e., "normal" 
behavior for a Web browser).  All this business about media type 
dependency may be technically correct, but is this what people think 
about when they think of "normal web use"?  I doubt it.  I repeat, I'm 
not saying anything you've said is wrong, but it seems to me that any 
resolution of this issue in RDF Core WG text (normative or 
non-normative) needs to

(a) take the above general "intuition" about what fragment ids seem to 
mean more to heart, and deal with it explicitly, rather than talking 
about MIME type dependencies and RFC2396 without further elaboration, and

(b) in particular, deal explicitly with how our current understanding of 
fragment ids (and the complications thereof) relates to the description 
cited above from the original M&S text.

I have a vague notion that the material in section 6.3 of your overview 
document could be a basis for doing this, but I think some wordsmithing 
and additional detail about the RDF "fragments" or "views" would be 


> I'll also remind you of the words I have suggested for reconciling RDF's 
> use of URIrefs (with fragment identifiers) with this current Web usage:
> http://www.ninebynine.org/wip/RDF-basics/2002-06-27/Overview.htm#xtocid103660 
> Finally, I note that the current TAG discussion of this issue is taking 
> place in a slightly different context, namely the use of HTTP URIs:
>   http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/ilist#httpRange-14


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Friday, 5 July 2002 17:41:24 UTC

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