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URIQA thwarted by WebDAV properties?

From: Eric Hanson <elh@cs.pdx.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 11:43:18 +0000
To: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20041012114318.A12429@aquameta.com>

Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com (Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com) wrote:
> > BTW2, apologies for the sensational subject. It made me cringe when I
> > read it back the next day.
> 
> Please don't apologise. These are very good questions and it has been
> very beneficial to be able to cover them. I wish I had time to write
> more about URIQA, particularly about rational and experience putting
> it to work. Challenging questions are a good impetus to address alot
> of these key issues.
> 
> Bring it on!  ;-)

Oh oh, I have one! :-)

Ok, for starters I am a big fan of URIQA and have been since the
beginning.  I think it's an absolutely right-headed approach
towards getting the SW baloon off the ground.

My problem with it is that of implementation, and can be summed
up in three words:  Why not WebDAV?

Consider the following almost one-to-one mapping from URIQA's
adventurous forrays into HTTP extensions to WebDAV's.  All
definitions straight from the specs:

URIQA MGET
  Return a concise bounded description of the resource denoted by
  the request URI...
WebDAV PROPFIND
  The PROPFIND method retrieves properties defined on the resource
  identified by the Request-URI...

URIQA MPUT/MDELETE
  Add the statements contained in a concise bounded description of
  the resource, provided as input, to the (possibly empty) body of
  knowledge maintained about the resource denoted by the request
  URI.
  Remove the statements contained in a concise bounded
  description of the resource, provided as input, from the
  existing knowledge maintained about the resource denoted by the
  request URI.
WebDAV PROPPATCH
  The PROPPATCH method processes instructions specified in the
  request body to set and/or remove properties defined on the
  resource identified by the Request-URI.

URIQA handles a single kind of metadata, the CBD.  WebDAV can
handle any metadata that can be represented as XML.  Seems like
WebDAV addresses the bigger and more generally-applicable
problem of metadata at large and URIQA's CBD could fit pretty
nicely in here.

Not to mention all the extra stuff you get with WebDAV as well.
When you move a resource, you can just use the MOVE operation to
relocate the resource and its metadata seamlessly.

When you want to search the metadata, you can use the SEARCH
operation.  It's extensible so you can use any search grammer
you want to (think XQuery/RDQL/...)

And not to be outdone is the COPY operation.  It copies a
resource and its metadata from one location to another in a
single operation.  Even across hosts according to the spec,
though nobody implements that.

Being somewhat new to the list I hope this doesn't get me drawn
and quartered but I think WebDAV is actually a much nicer
approach to implementing the vision of the Semantic Web.  The
web was designed for documents, but metadata is data and should
be handled with a protocol designed for working with data.
URIQA gets this right, but I think WebDAV gets it righter. :-)

Regards,
Eric Hanson
--
http://www.aquameta.com/~eric/
http://typekit.org/
Received on Tuesday, 12 October 2004 11:45:57 GMT

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