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Re: URIs may not mean *exactly* what you think

From: Pete Johnston <p.johnston@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 20:24:12 +0100
Message-ID: <1083871452.409a90dc94f3e@webmail.bath.ac.uk>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "'www-rdf-interest@w3.org'" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

Quoting Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>:

> So the concept of URI ownership in the semantic web is based on two 
> fallacies:
> 1) you can distinguish a definition by the owner from a description by 
> someone else
> 2) the meaning of one URI is independent of other URIs (possibly not yet 
> coined)

Having read your example, I find it hard to argue with this... 

But is it not in contradiction with the principles presented in the W3C TAG Web 
Architecture document? 


> URI ambiguity refers to the use of the same URI to refer
> to more than one distinct resource.
> Good practice: URI ambiguity
> Avoid URI ambiguity.


And doesn't it undermine the prospects for the use of shared vocabularies?

I accept that in the context of my music database I may use the dc:creator 
property to represent the relation between a Song and a Songwriter, in my e-
Prints database I may use dc:creator property to represent the relation between 
a Document and its Author, somewhere else its the relation between a Collection 
and its Collector, and so on. 

But in all cases, the URI http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator denotes the 
same concept, the same resource, and that is the relation between resource and 
its creator which the owner of that URI (the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative) 
says the URI denotes, and for which DCMI serves an authoritative representation 
in the form of an RDF/XML document.

If it doesn't, I'm worried ;-)

Pete Johnston 
Research Officer (Interoperability)
UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK 
tel: +44 (0)1225 383619    fax: +44 (0)1225 386838 

Received on Thursday, 6 May 2004 15:36:43 UTC

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