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RE: Why Hash?

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 11:04:52 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C104D1C0C1@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Sandro Hawke" <sandro@w3.org>, "Aaron Swartz" <me@aaronsw.com>
Cc: "RDF-Interest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
> Can we agree on this: we want semantic web client software to be able
> to use a URI-Reference to obtain an RDF graph in which some node

If you mean that GET should be the primary way to get information about
a subject, then no we cannot agree.  This flies against web philosophy,
IMO.

> The Hash vs. Slash argument then comes down to this: Should every
> subject have its own web page, or should each page have information
> about several subjects?  If we allow pages to have information about

> REST suggests (to my limitted understanding) that GET gives you a
> representation of the identified thing.  A representation of IBM, of
> TimBL, of the weather in NYC, ....  This makes no sense to me.  I
> think you get back information about IBM, TimBL, the weather in NYC,
> etc.  What is information about something?  It's an RDF graph where
> that something is denoted by a node in the RDF graph.

You are pointing out a legitimate distinction -- do assertions about a
resource reside *with* the resource (or at least in one place) or do
they reside in multiple places, wherever the entity making the
assertions decided to dump them?

I would say that RDF about a particular resource which is available
through a single GET and published *with* that resource, is the least
interesting and least "web" way that the RDF can be published.  This
would be like saying that inbound hyperlinks must be part of the page
that they reference -- the web succeeds exactly because:

1) Anyone can publish a page, and it will be available to everyone
2) Anyone can hyperlink to any page
3) The page being hyperlinked doesn't have to grant permission or even
be online for someone to reference it

This is, IMO, the absolute minimum that the semantic web must also have
to be legitimately called a "semantic web":

1) Anyone can publish metadata, and it will be available to everyone
2) Anyone can use any resource as the subject of the metadata
3) The resource being described doesn't have to grant permission of even
be online for someone to describe it

-Joshua
Received on Monday, 8 April 2002 14:05:14 GMT

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