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

Re: Announcement: The "info" URI Scheme

From: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2003 09:53:15 -0700
Message-ID: <3F7C57FB.9050606@globalmentor.com>
To: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Cc: thabing@uiuc.edu, Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, "Hammond, Tony (ELSLON)" <T.Hammond@elsevier.com>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org, uri@w3.org

Patrick Stickler wrote:
> It seems to me that if the effort is taken to define the http: URI
> equivalences, that it's then *less* work to just *use* the http: URIs
> and simply not have to muck about with mappings.
> 
> So while the mapping approach is an interesting idea, it seems
> to highlight IMO the needlessness of yet another specialized URI
> scheme.

Let me apply this logic:

1. "If the effort is takent to define IP address URL equivalences (using 
a domain-name system), then it's *less* work to just *use* IP addresses 
and simply not have to muck about with mappings."

Moral: The HTTP URL system is distinct from a resource's physical 
location on a hard drive.

2. "If the effort is taken to define HTML CSS or XSL equivalences, then 
it's *less* work to just *use* <xhtml:i> for italics and <xhtml:b> for 
bold and simply not have to muck about with mappings."

Moral: The style of a document is distinct from its semantics.

3. "If the effort is taken to define a nation-wide ID system in the 
United States that matches SSN with date of birth, hair color, and 
physical address, that it's *less* work to just *use* date of birth, 
hair color, and physical address when filling out tax returns and simply 
not have to muck about with mappings."

Moral: The identity of a person is distinct from his or characteristics.

As #3 indicates, this is not just about having a unique URI, as date of 
birth, hair color, and physical address surely uniquely identifies 
99.99% percent of the population. To my mind, saying "the blond person 
born in 1 January 1900 living at 1 Main Street" is different than 
saying, "the person with SSN 123-45-6789. What happens when that person 
moves? What happens when Main Street is torn down? I make the same 
distinction between "the language identified by the URI uri:lang:en_US" 
and "the language described by the resource at 
http://example.org/languages/en_us".

Garret
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 12:54:38 GMT

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