W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > December 2000

Re: Semantic Web Hackings

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 18:54:55 -0000
Message-ID: <011d01c070ff$c6335c40$1ce493c3@z5n9x1>
To: <danny@panlanka.net>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
> personally I know one couple reachable at don.deb@... [...]
> However, there isn't much else around at the moment - 'mailto:'
> looks promising.

As the SW will be run on URI's, we have to choose some form of URI to
represent people. We are limited to either http:// or mailto: really for
these purposes, and I felt that using mailto: would have many advantages
over http:// because it is often used more singularly. There is nothing to
stop you having an "SW assertion" about a mailbox that has two people: just
say that this mailbox is owned by person 1 (description) and person 2

> the sitting-on-lap problem could be handled by additional
> qualifying attributes.

That's a good suggestion.

> The general idea I reckon is basically valid - the URI doesn't
> have to refer to the person, just their interface to the digital
> environment.

Yes! Very neatly put. A person is unique, and a URI is unique, so if the
Person => Web interface has a single URI (mailto:) then there should be no
logistical problems there at all: one person, one vote, one URI. If I had
three mailboxes (I have a lot more than that), then I could say that all of
these mailboxes are owned by the smae person that owns this first mailbox:-

 <rdf:Description rdf:about="mailto:sean@mysterylights.com">
  <asserts:name>Sean B. Palmer</asserts:name>
  <sig:signed>[Digital Signature]</sig:signed>

To do that properly (binding further URIs to a root URI), requires
security, which leads us nicely to:-

> Security could be a bigger problem though, I would think the
> overheads could get sticky - perhaps one could have a public
> URI (not secure) and a private one (digitally signed)?

Yes, digital signatures and security are a problem at this stage. I'm no
expert on security, but because there is *such* a commercial and practical
need for it, I'm sure it will be perfected in time. For now I don't thenk
that there is much of a problem: for example, if I have an RDF assertion
for my mailbox on my server, you can be pretty sure that it is going to be
valid. In other words, if I make an assertion about an @mysterylights.com
mail address on http://mysterylights.com/mail/ then you can be pretty sure
that you can trust it. If it's at http://www.geocities.com/fake/ then you
have to wonder...

> boris.ivan.vlad
> I believe there are already geneology schemas in circulation...

Intersting. I reckon that would make for intersting property information
once the URI is asserted as definitively being a representation of me...
I reckon that this exposes a true practical use for the Semantic Web that
can be implemented and worked upon right now. If someone were to come up
with a "name" property that means "is owned by person, and asserts person"
then the simple triple:-

mailto:sean@mysterylights.com => #name => Sean B. Palmer (verified)

Has a lot more depth and meaning. From this you can say whatever you want
about mailto:sean@mysteryligths.com and technically assert it about me as
long I as verify it.

Well there you go, I suppose the SW is practical/useful/+ after all... :-)

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ [ERT/GL/PF]
"Perhaps, but let's not get bogged down in semantics."
   - Homer J. Simpson, BABF07.
Received on Thursday, 28 December 2000 13:54:45 UTC

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