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

Re: URI etymology

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 14:46:32 +0100
Message-ID: <00df01c0f5a1$b2e892a0$71dd93c3@z5n9x1>
To: "Sampo Syreeni" <decoy@iki.fi>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
> > Once again, this is no problem, unless you somehow believe
> > that what you get back from a namespace upon dereferening
> > it is the "one truedefinition" of the terms in that namespace;
> > utter nonsense.
> That is my problem, yes. I seem to think that URIs should only
> identify a single resource, as it's a lot more difficult to deal
> URIs if they don't. Plus, it's not in accordance with the original
> definition of URIs.

Actually, they still only reference one resource, it's just that the
use of that resource varies from context to context. Again, my
example: if I use http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front in my systems to
denote the concept of a "brick", does that mean that a) your homepage
is now a brick or b) that you have to move your homepage in any way?
Now, let's say you're using a URN: the situation could actually be
considered worse, because urn:name:www.iki.fi/home to identify the
concept of your homepage is only ever defined by the context of its
use. If I sell a million of my SW systems and they all use that URN
for the concept of "brick", does it *make* the resource identified by
that URN a brick? Well, in my systems, it does. But in your systems,
it is a concept of a "homepage". cf. [1].

And of course, what is a "brick"? That's only set up by the lines of
programming code in my system, so even that is (an admittedly built
in) context.

The question here is about trust and authority. If I say that I only
trust a piece of RDF using your homepage as a URI in it somewhere if
and only if it is digitally signed by a digital signature that I know
is from you, then I can be "sure" that the context of its use will be
the one that is "correct" to you.

[1] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200103/msg01053.html

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Friday, 15 June 2001 09:45:53 UTC

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