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RE: Human-Opaque URIs

From: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 12:09:21 +0100
Message-ID: <1080904161.406d49e1cba00@>
To: "www-rdf-interest@w3.org" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

Everything should be as human-readable as possible but no more human-readable.

I've found myself re-using Einstein's simplicity axiom with new adjectives like
above quite a lot of late, it's not a bad approach to keeping perspective when
struggling to deal with something we generally agree is a Good Thing
(simplicity, human-readability, modularity, etc.) Of course some of these are
largely refinements on "simplicity", human-readability being an example.

Once human-readability gets in the way of a system working (as it appears to
have done in the case examined here) then you're no longer staying within the
"no more human-readable" bounds. Take heart in the fact that you can only ever
be truly human-readable in a handful of languages at the same time and stick in
a number or another arbitrary identifier that suits your system.

There is the possibility that a radically different design would enable the more
human-readable URIs to be used safely, and if such a design is possible then
I'd give you pound to a shilling that it'd also be better in at least one other
significant way. However that's more an article of faith than anything else,
and it's impossible to know if it applies to the particular case in hand.

Jon Hanna
"…it has been truly said that hackers have even more words for
equipment failures than Yiddish has for obnoxious people." - jargon.txt
Received on Friday, 2 April 2004 06:12:54 UTC

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