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'#' exit document space? (was: Documents, Cars, Hills, and Valleys)

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 09:04:10 +0100
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20020411085648.039fb060@joy.songbird.com>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 06:22 PM 4/10/02 -0400, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>The semantic web must model HTTP faithfully.
>
>The solution of course is very simple, because the # allows us
>to jump from documents to things through the mime type.
>We just invent a new language, not a new protocol. This cost is
>much smaller.
>
>Because even a semantic web which talks about Mark and his cars
>is still doing it with documents, and the document way of working
>is still useful, and the hTTP machinery for talking about the
>properties of the documents themselves is important.
>
>Given that the # allows us to be free of any restriction, we avoid forcing
>HTTP to be what it ain't and still get all we need.

This seems to be putting an awful burden of responsibility on one 
character, something I had seen as a small syntactic device...

It seems, reading your comments, that one SHOULD NOT use a bare HTTP URL to 
identify, say, an XML namespace because that is not a document.  I suppose 
it has a certain elegance, because the document:

     http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns

can be viewed as describing the namespace:

     http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#

which seems to be how things work out in practice (for RDF, at least).

But I'm concerned that this represents a changing from widely understood 
principles, and will be difficult to deploy consistently (in people's minds 
and in software).

#g


-------------------
Graham Klyne
<GK@NineByNine.org>
Received on Thursday, 11 April 2002 05:04:06 GMT

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