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Re: Human-Opaque URIs

From: Steve Harris <S.W.Harris@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 11:20:21 +0100
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040402102021.GE14536@login.ecs.soton.ac.uk>

On Fri, Apr 02, 2004 at 09:57:53 +0100, Phil Dawes wrote:
> I'm now considering using opaque numbers in URIs to represent things -
> e.g. http://sw.example.com/2003/01/application/23 - and am wondering if
> other people do this and what their experiences are.
> In particular, what would be the advantages/disadvantages of working
> in a world where URIs contain little human-readable information?

We do this a lot (for the reasons you mention), both with a process that
generates a stream of unique numbers and by hashing some existing unique
(but recognisable) ID, as appropriate.

FOAF also does it with sha1 hashes of email addresses used as inverse
functional properties (representing things as bNodes), but for different

The only disadvantage comes when debugging and testing, as you either have
to remember/recognise long hex strings or do RDF queries to check you're
interacting with the right thing. Not a big deal though.

- Steve
Received on Friday, 2 April 2004 05:22:09 UTC

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