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Re: Distributed querying on the semantic web

From: Jon Hanna <jon@hackcraft.net>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 11:11:22 +0100
Message-ID: <1082628682.40879a4ab23e8@82.195.128.192>
To: "www-rdf-interest@w3.org" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

Patrick Stickler quoted Phil Dawes  as saying:

> > Ah - I see your point now. It's not that you don't think that having
> > information at the URI is a bad thing, it's that you don't think it
> > should be considered the *authoritative* description of that
> > information.
> > I think I agree with you here - better to let society decide what
> > information it trusts and wants to use rather than mandating it.
> >

And then added:

> Here is where I disagree.
> 
> If I mint a term, denoted by a URI that I own, then I consider the
> description/definition of that term that *I* give it to be the
> authoritative description.
> 
> Whether others respect that authoritative definition is a secondary,
> social issue -- not a technical one.

I agree with Patrick when it comes to the definiton of the URI, but not when it
comes to the description.

Patrick might reasonably coin a URI to refer to the HTTP extension method MGET
in URIQA. This is reasonable, and the URI should be used to refer to MGET and
not to anything else, neither because of a mistake that could arise from
natural
language (in natural language we could confuse it with the MGET extension method
that was proposed as a
multiple-GET circa 1994, with URIs this should not be possibe), nor because
someone simply wants to use the same URI to denote their family recipe for
chowder. In this since Patrick is the authority, if I
don't agree with him I am not being a good citizen.

Patrick might, equally reasonably, want to describe MGET in subjective terms.
And assert that <http://domainPatrickControls/MGET> <rdf:type>
<http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/G/Good-Thing.html> . However here I don't
necesarily agree with him. Indeed I might consider him to be a less than
objective authority, and often those who would produce the most popular URIs to
denote a given resource would have some sort of bias one way or another.

Of course the only way to know how a URI is defined is by reading descriptions
of it, so in practice it's hard to say where authoritative definition ends and
subjective description begins.

-- 
Jon Hanna
<http://www.hackcraft.net/>
"…it has been truly said that hackers have even more words for
equipment failures than Yiddish has for obnoxious people." - jargon.txt
Received on Thursday, 22 April 2004 06:12:25 GMT

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