W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

Disambiguation; keeping the "U" in "URI"

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 09:58:20 -0400
To: Miles Sabin <msabin@interx.com>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020424095820.D13270@www.markbaker.ca>
Re disambiguation, as I've said repeatedly (don't people believe me?
8-), HTTP has the Content-Location header for doing just this.

The issue is though, when do you use it?  For the human-centric side of
the Web, I am a believer in using it *after* humans (other than the
publisher) have decided, via common use, what the URI identifies.
Neither browsers nor Web servers support it very well in my experience,
so I don't think there's any use in trying to convince them to obey
what the header says.

Re the IBM web site, I would expect that somewhere on the order of 99%
of all the back links to "http://www.ibm.com" are using it to identify
the company, not the Web page.  Google seems to back me up on this; a
look at the first few pages of this query yields nobody talking about
IBM's HTML;

http://www.google.com/search?q=link:http://www.ibm.com/&hl=en&start=30&sa=N

Once machines are doing more of the browsing, only then (IMO) does it
become really necessary to help them disambiguate, without going down
the slippery slope of using heuristics.  At that point, using the
Content-Location header seems like the right thing to do, and to do it
so that it reflects what humans are already using your URIs for, not
what you would ideally want them to be.

But in the meantime, you can be careful about how your web site is laid
out.  For example, a GET on "http://rdfig.xmlhack.com" returns a
redirect to "http://rdfig.xmlhack.com/index.html".  This will give
the RDF IG problems in the future, because some assertions will be made
about "http://rdfig.xmlhack.com/index.html" that are about the RDF IG.
So try to avoid using redirects to solve problems that your Web server
can help you with by using Content-Location.

MB
-- 
Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com
Received on Wednesday, 24 April 2002 09:51:37 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:51:53 GMT