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RE: Some thoughts on effective access to "primary" vs "secondary" resources, consistency of descriptions, and bootstrapping the semantic web...

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 12:39:54 +0300
Message-ID: <1E4A0AC134884349A21955574A90A7A50ADD1D@trebe051.ntc.nokia.com>
To: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>, <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <connolly@w3.org>



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stickler Patrick (Nokia-TP-MSW/Tampere) 
> Sent: 09 October, 2004 11:14
> To: 'ext Miles, AJ (Alistair)'; public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> Cc: 'www-rdf-interest@w3.org'; 'connolly@w3.org'
> Subject: RE: Some thoughts on effective access to "primary" vs
> "secondary" resources, consistency of descriptions, and bootstrapping
> the semantic web...
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: ext Miles, AJ (Alistair) [mailto:A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk]
> > Sent: 08 October, 2004 18:01
> > To: Stickler Patrick (Nokia-TP-MSW/Tampere); public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> > Cc: 'www-rdf-interest@w3.org'
> > Subject: RE: Some thoughts on effective access to "primary" vs
> > "secondary" resources, consistency of descriptions, and 
> bootstrapping
> > the semantic web...
> > 
> > 
> > This has come up again recently on public-esw-thes@w3.org also.
> 
> It clearly is a pervasive issue.
>
> ...
>
> Regarding ... [2]
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HashURI,

I think it is important to note that the hash-not-slash position
has been largely argued from the (now arguably false) premise that 
every primary URI (without fragid) denotes an information-bearing 
resource (e.g. a document).

As existing, proven, widely deployed applications are at odds with
such a premise, this would seem to require some new arguments.

Arguments based on a premise that is false for many existing applications
are not the least bit motivating.

It is highly unreasonable, and IMO unlikely, that the narrow
interpretation of primary URIs always denoting documents would ever
be forcably foisted upon the web and semantic web community.

>From what I can see, the industry itself has resolved issue httpRange-14
in favor of the more general, agnostic view (that any URI can denote any
resource and the nature of the denoted resource is unknowable via the
web machinery proper) as demonstrated by the widespread successful deployment 
of applications employing primary URIs to denote resources which are not 
information-bearing (e.g. documents).

Certain individuals may lament this fact, but surely should not dismiss it.

And as it is the norm for new applications to emulate practices
reflected in the standards, the examples in which (unfortunately) typically
reflect the use of secondary URIs for e.g. terms, the choice of using
primary URIs to denote terms, contrary to those examples, reflects
a clear, conscientious decision on this issue, the significance of which 
should not be undervalued.

Continued insistence that the world roll back time, declare a large
number of existing successful applications as employing bad practice,
and traverse a different path (particularly since there are no clearly 
demonstrated benefits for doing so, only demonstrated drawbacks) is 
unrealistic, unproductive and damaging to the web and semantic web 
communities.

If the hash vs. slash debate is to see any conclusion, then it
must move away from arguments based on subjective preferences 
in methodology to objective evidence of the benefits/drawbacks
of either option.

And based on objective arguments presented thus far reflecting real-world, 
applications, IMO this debate as well can be concluded.

Unless anyone brings new evidence to bear demonstrating either the
significant practical benefit of the use of secondary URIs over primary 
URIs by web or semantic web applications, or significant problems in the 
use of primary URIs over secondary URIs by web or semantic web agents, 
then slash clearly wins out over hash.

Regards,

Patrick
Received on Saturday, 9 October 2004 09:40:14 GMT

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