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Re: review of LCC documents as of 26 December 2002

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 12:17:31 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <20030110.121731.05346238.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk
Cc: www-rdf-comments@w3.org

From: Jan Grant <Jan.Grant@bristol.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: review of LCC documents as of 26 December 2002
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 16:58:12 +0000 (GMT)

> On Fri, 27 Dec 2002, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> 
> > Integrated Review of the RDF Core WG LCC Documents (as of 26 December 2002)
> 
> > RDF Test Cases
> > W3C Working Draft 18 December 2002
> >
> > The test cases RDF encoding depends on an external-to-RDF correlation
> > between URI references and documents.  It would be much better to create
> > resources for these documents, with a property whose (literal) value is the
> > URI of the document.
> 
> Thanks for this, Peter. Back when I first sketched out the manifest
> format I was of the same opinion:
> 
> [[
> Base URI and relative URI as literal properties
> 
> 	<test:RDFDocument
> 		test:baseURI="absolute-address-of-test-document" />
> 
> This is arguably preferable to the [current situation], since it treats
> the address of a document as being explicitly differentiated from a URI
> which may denote it. This is particularly important since the lexical
> content of the base URI will be of interest to a parser.
> 
> The downside of this choice is that it may prove confusing (even
> contentious) to the RDF community. However, the discussion of the
> distinction (if any) between denotation and dereferencing of a URL has
> to happen sooner or later.
> ]]
> 
> In the end, I was persuaded that the (tacit) denotation of a document by
> a resource node labelled with a URL that, when dereferenced, produces (a
> representation of) that document, is a common assumption made by users
> of RDF (DanC primarily persuaded me of this - I recall his comment was
> that the alternative "smells bad" :-) ).
> 
> I've not pointed out this relationship explicitly in the test case
> document. I've heard people (DanC in particular) repeatedly state that,
> if it looks like a URL (as opposed to a URIref), you ought to be able to
> get something by going there with a browser. My personal opinion is that
> W3's TAG ought to say something on this matter, because it's an important
> one that ought to be made explicit.
> 
> As it is, sneaking it in in a test case document doesn't do the matter
> justice - I'd rather see this dealt with elsewhere, since the
> relationship between denotation and documents available by dereferencing
> would appear to be an important architectural issue.
> 
> Cheers,
> jan

Agreed, and it is not a serious problem for the Test document.  It is more
an architectural issue for the Semantic Web as a whole, and, as such, it
might be a good thing to discuss at the upcoming Tech Plenary.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Lucent Technologies
Received on Friday, 10 January 2003 12:17:56 GMT

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