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

RE: Semantic Web Hackings

From: Jason Diamond <jason@injektilo.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 02:19:42 -0800
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Cc: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LAEMKGDBDFAKFNKPFEKLIELMDAAA.jason@injektilo.org>
> Why on earth would you want to resolve a name? You resolve addresses, not
> names; c.f. http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/NameMyth.html
> A name is a name is a name. I don't see what you're getting at with this
> "distributed system" stuff. Why would you want to resolve an RDF property
> value (that's what I'm using it as)? It's like resolving a sentence or
> something...

Thanks for the link although I don't think it says what you probably think
it says. The "Name Myth" that TBL is referring to is the misconception that
names and addresses are distinct (with regards to URIs).

This one snippet from the "What's in a name?" section, however, sums up my
response to your question rather nicely:

'... because in order to discover anything about the name, one has to
"dereference" the name.'

Now, the URI mailto:sean@mysterylights.com tells me absolutely nothing about
you (except, maybe, that I can send a message to that address and hope that
you get it) nor does it tell me how to get more information about you.
Likewise, mailto:jason@injektilo.org tells you nothing about me. You can
make all the assertions you want about your URI but if I don't have access
to those assertions then they won't do me any bit of good.

You keep saying that all I have to do is "query the Semantic Web." Again,
pardon my practicality, but in order to do that, I'm going to need a host,
port, path, some parameter names, and some inkling of an idea on what to
expect as the result of that query so that I'll know how to parse it.

Today, my solution would be to use HTTP and RDF. It can't get much simpler
than that. Assuming, of course, that I know the http URL that I can
dereference to get your RDF.

If the Semantic Web is going to be a distributed system (as we both think it
should be) then you need to keep your RDF on your server and I'll keep mine
on mine. I need to be able to dereference your name so that I can retrieve
information about you. If I can't get that from your name, then I'll need
some sort of function that can translate your name into the address I need.

Now, if you want to add RDF RRs to DNS so that we could translate your email
address into a a URL then you have my full support. But good luck convincing
the rest of the world to use them.

Or, if you'd rather use the out-of-band approach and just tell me your URL
so that I can configure my Semantic Web browser to get all assertions for
your mailto URI from such-and-such http URL, then I'll accept that, too. I
think it's a terrible idea but it'd be usable for at least a handful of
people. But don't we want the whole world using this?

Jason.
Received on Monday, 1 January 2001 05:23:29 GMT

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