W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2001

Re: Solutions to the Identification Problem, was Re: URIs / URLs

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 13:18:06 -0400
Message-Id: <200104121837.f3CIbg702968@daniel.hawke.org>
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Cc: "RDF Interest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, "RDF Logic" <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

> > 3.  We can, of course, use a non-resolvable URI scheme
> > or make up a new one (as I'm guilty of doing myself).
> I don't happen to think that making new URI schemes should be taboo: a
> good mark is "can this particular resource be identified to my level
> of satisfaction by any other URI space?". If not, create a new one for
> it; I don't see the problem.

The problem is that URI schemes are named in a centralized manner, so
properly creating a new one involves getting a rough consensus of the
internet developer community (that is, making an "internet standard"
through the IETF) which is a difficult process.  It may even be
impossible if the basic problem is not defined clearly enough.  I'm
contemplating this process for one such scheme and I am not

> As for what URI to use for identifying non network retrievable
> entities, does it matter? I mean theoretically it matters a great
> deal, but realistically one could use any URI as long as it suits a
> particular system. 

If the theory really is irrelevant to real systems, then it's not the
relevant theory!   There seem to be different levels of theoretical
rigor needed for different kinds of work.   

> I like your three choices, but I would hardly label
> them as "solutions"... rather they are choices that we have to put up
> with for now - i.e. pick the one with the least disadvantages.

What could possibly be better?   Maybe that's a meaningless question
without (again) a good problem definition, but my three options seem
to match the ways humans approach this problem, so I'm not optimistic
that there is something better.   

> > If it served up text/rdf defined the right way, the two
> > denotations could happen, at the moment, to be identical.
> Erm... how many processors do you know of that derference the RDF
> namespace to gain an insight into how RDF works?

None, but I believe some people want that as on option for at least
validation-like functionality.

   -- sandro
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2001 13:18:25 UTC

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