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

RE: Strings and things

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 14:55:04 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C104F060A7@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Mark Baker" <distobj@acm.org>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
> cannot identify?  URIs are no special in this respect.  Saying that
> URI can identify cars, while others cannot, is like saying that words
> beginning with "h" cannot be used to identify a car.

That's not a good analogy.  It is more like saying that words that end
in "car" are generally used to identify types of cars.  And the analogy
is additionally a bad one because we have the option of carefully
choosing our vocabulary here, while we are stuck with the words we have.
And if you *had* to invent a new word for a new type of car, chances are
that you would create a word that has "car" in it.  Same with URIs;
people SHOULD choose URI schemes that are indicative of the thing they
are identifying, and the creator of a URI scheme SHOULD specify which
range of "things" this URI scheme is good at identifying.

On the other hand, the argument that you are making is sounding
suspiciously like: You SHOULD be able to use the word "Harry" to refer
to automobiles, and everyone else should just suck it up and figure out
what you are talking about.  "Harry" doesn't stand-in for "automobile",
and neither does an http URI, period.  If you want to argue that you
should have the right to choose imprecise words, that's fine -- and I'm
sure that there will be some people who do so.  But they certainly won't
have any guarantees that anyone will understand what they are saying.
Received on Monday, 29 April 2002 17:55:19 UTC

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