W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2003

RE: Denotation of URIs

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 09:35:48 +0300
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B5FBB86@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <seth@robustai.net>
Cc: <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

> >>... The 
> >>idea that 
> >>they *should* always denote the same thing is like the idea that 
> >>everybody *should* always obey the law.  
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >I fully agree, and have used examples which reflect this 
> view. I don't
> >think that any of my posts have reflected anything that contradicts
> >this view.
> >
> >But it seems that some folks would like to say that, since 
> folks won't
> >obey the law, we shouldn't have any laws...
> >
> Kewl then we totally agree :)  ... except perhaps that i dont 
> think it 
> should even be a law or even an assumption or even an axiom 
> but rather 
> just the consensus of the w3c working groups.

Well, I almost agree with the above. I think that

(a) SW agents (and humans ;-) should be able to presume that URIs
    have globally unambiguous and consistent denotation

(b) the presence of ambiguity in URI denotation will always be
    detrimental to the SW, and if/when ambiguity is observed
    it should be corrected

Neither of those, I think, constitutes a law or requirement
or garuntee that ambiguity will not occur. But they do reflect
some very strong assumptions which will certainly be reflected
in SW agent behavior.

And yes, I think that (a) and (b) should be normatively stated
in unambiguous ;-) terms in some W3C document.

At least (a) is implicitly stated in the last call RDF specs,
as reflected by the graph merge function. I think it should also
have been explicitly stated in the MT. Oh well. No spec is perfect.

And even if/when we have sufficiently intelligent SW agents which
are able to deal with ambiguity of denotation, it will *still*
be an undesireable and detrimental source of noise on the SW.



Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2003 02:35:52 UTC

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