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

Re: What to do about namespace derived URI refs... (long)

From: Seth Russell <seth@robustai.net>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 11:47:43 -0700
Message-ID: <010901c0eeb9$2db57100$b17ba8c0@c1457248a.sttls1.wa.home.com>
To: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>, <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: <Ora.Lassila@nokia.com>
From: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>

> > But if the web page is describing an abstract entity [see
> > below], and some author decides to coin the URI for
> > that abstract entity to be his web page URL; then the
> > RDF cannot tell the difference between descriptions of
> > the abstract thing and descriptions of web page.
> But then the author has assigned a URI to two different resources,
> which is prohibited by the URI specification. It's either a Web Page,
> or it's the concept of some abstract thing, like love or hatred, or it
> represents some physical object like a brick, but not all three. Not
> any more than one.

You missed the point.  Naming is something that happens within the cultural
context of habitual behavior.  So that what people actually tend to do must
be considered when attempting to adopt a naming convention.  People (and
automated agents) use URLs to name Internet accessible resources.  Any URL
with a fragment will return some string of bits.  The URL names that string
of bits whether you or the W3C like it or not.    The functional behavior of
Internet tools creates that naming convention.  When a standards body
attempts to suggest otherwise they are just creating confusion.

> So you have http://robustai.net/seth/ and it's your homepage. Fine.
> You can put it in your RDF bookmark system. Now, you want to coin some
> abstract entity that is defined by a view of that resource, for
> example "Truth", so you use the URI http://robustai.net/seth/#Truth or
> even http://robustai.net/seth/Truth as long as the latter is never
> referred to as a Web Page. Even if it is, there isn't a problem,
> thanks to contextualization - someone can call it a Web Page if they
> want to - it won't break any of your programs.

Let's start using real references.  I have already declared on a number of
occasions that [1] is my home page.   Now let's assume that I would want to
name the attitude I have towards statements that correspond with my view of
reality as [2] . But [2] already names the information that I would receive
were I to type that URL into my browser.  That is an ambiguity.  Your two
step shuffle around it notwithstanding.

[1] http://robustai.net/~seth/index.htm
[2] http://robustai.net/~seth/index.htm#Truth

Whereas the following is totally unambiguous, were the W3C to become clear
on this point we will be able to avoid much confusion:

Language:  Semenglish

    a Person;
    semName "Seth";
    semUri urn:name:robustai.net/People/Seth ;
    properName "Seth Russell" ;
    preferredEmail mailto:seth@robustai.net ;
    coins SethTruth ;
    hasHomePage http://robustai.net/~seth/index.htm .
    semName "SethTruth" ;
    semUri urn:name:robustai.net/Concepts/PropositionalAttitudes/#Truth ;
    definition "The attitude (Seth) adopts towards any statement for which
he holds that statement to accurately describes the reality he perceives or
Received on Wednesday, 6 June 2001 14:53:31 UTC

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