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Re: Summary (I mean it this time): URIs : How to find the ontologies behind them

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 06:49:24 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20030411.064924.10653125.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
Cc: Eli@SemanticWorld.Org, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Subject: RE: Summary (I mean it this time): URIs : How to find the ontologies behind them
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 08:33:49 +0300

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: ext Peter F. Patel-Schneider 
> > [mailto:pfps@research.bell-labs.com]
> > Sent: 10 April, 2003 16:38
> > To: Eli@SemanticWorld.Org
> > Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> > Subject: Re: Summary (I mean it this time): URIs : How to find the
> > ontologies behind them


> > Not all web addresses, and not even all http: addresses, have 
> > any chance of
> > having any ``authority''.
> That's your opinion. Others, including myself, think differently.

So when will http://www.foo.ex/bar have an ``authority''?
When will http://www.foo.notopleveldomain//bar have an ``authority''?

There are many, many http: addresses that have next to no chance of ever
having any ``authority''.  


> > > That being said, we agree that it would be a good idea for 
> > the web authority
> > > refered to in the URI of a resource to provide information 
> > about that
> > > resource, either at the address pointed to by the URI, or 
> > through another
> > > mechanism.
> > 
> > Provided that there is single such an organization, yes, this 
> > is a good
> > idea.  In fact, even in the absence of an authority, it is a 
> > good idea to
> > have information concerning a URI reference accessible in 
> > some standard
> > fashion.
> We all seem to agree on this point. That given a URI, one
> should be able to obtain a description of the resource denoted
> in a consistent, ideally standardized, manner.

No.  I think that it is a good idea, where possible, to be able to do
this.  However, I don't think that it should be possible to do this in all
cases, and think that it will not possible in very many cases.

> > > However, even if an authority provides information about a 
> > resource, it can
> > > not be seen as either authoritative or complete.  
> > Information about the
> > > resource garnered from other sources should be given equal 
> > weight.  The
> > > provision of information by the web authority is, then, a technical
> > > convenience, and nothing more.
> > 
> > This I agree with totally, except that in some circumstances, 
> > one might
> > want to make this information ``first among equals''.
> Isn't the phrase "first among equals" an oxymoron?

Not really.  The ``first among equals'' is given precendence all other
things being equal, but there is the connotation that the ``first among
equals'' is only different in degree, not in kind.

> If one member of a set is considered to take precidence over
> the others, then it is not equal to the others.

Not exactly, but it is in the same league, i.e., if there is sufficient
dissent from the other ``equals'' then the ``first'' no longer takes

> I understand the (IMO tongue in cheek) meaning of the phrase,
> but I don't consider oxymorons (however amusing and clever)
> to be valid as a basis for SW architecture.

I don't really think that ``first among equals'' is an oxymoron.  It
captures an interesting and common situation.


> Cheers,
> Patrick

Received on Friday, 11 April 2003 06:49:37 GMT

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