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

Re: Anonymous resource names -versus- variables

From: Dave Reynolds <der@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 10:33:20 +0100
Message-ID: <391143DF.DEB7BD42@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Dan Brickley wrote:

> My strawman suggestion is (a) that we adopt a convention of using URIs of
> the form var:2342534647647476456456 for such situations, and (b) that such
> identifiers are serving as named placeholders much like variables, and
> that this analogy might be worth exploring further.

One question is the scoping of such variables.

If the binding is done purely within a single client than any convention would work (var:...
anon:...  skolem:... etc).

However, if you want the ability to later establish cross-application bindings to these anon ids
(when some "real" uri is discovered) then more infrastructure is needed. It that case you may
want to consider using CNRI handles  (http://www.handle.net/). These handles can be expressed in
URI syntax (hdl:name-authority/foo) and the Handle system provides an infrastructure for
dynamically resolving them into URLs (or indeed other handles or URIs). Thus if you assumed some
name authority say "rdf.skolem" then you could label anonymous nodes
"hdl:ref.skolem/1287987430984398743" using some presumed collision free digest or random number
generator. These could be treated as arbitrary labels most of the time but a given application
could check with the handle resolver whether a concrete binding to the anonymous label has been

Having said all that I'm not convinced it's needed and simply have a labeling convention for
anonymous resources sounds sufficient. Just thought it might be fun to point out the possible
existence of a global variable binder!

Received on Thursday, 4 May 2000 05:31:38 UTC

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