W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > February 2003

Re: Valid representations, canonical representations, and what the SW needs from the Web...

From: Jan Algermissen <algermissen@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 13:18:18 +0100
Message-ID: <3E3FAF8A.D7BAA44A@acm.org>
To: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
CC: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

Paul Prescod wrote:
> Sandro Hawke wrote:
> > There's an alternative view, however.  Maybe http: URIs are already
> > rather precise.  Each one identifies exactly one web location [1].
> > They can't be used directly to identify the Sun, etc, only indirectly
> > via their content (or using fragment IDs, in one version); that
> > indirect location works just fine for RDF and the semantic web,

I agree, that is the whole idea behind the distinction between using
a URI as an identifier for a web resource (web page, web service etc.)
and using it as an *indicator* for an abstract concept.
> It won't work. You can't know whether "http://www.prescod.net" refers to
> "Paul's homepage", "The Prescod Family Homepage", "Paul's business", "A
> set of links endorsed by Paul" etc. unless I tell you. There is nothing
> in either the URI string nor the document to umabiguously say what that
> page is about. 

Absolutely right. I don't understand though, why the authority is supposed
to define what the URI denotes? I think that the URI allways identifies
the web resource (which I think is an abstraction of the web page or
service) and that any further meaning of the URI depends entirely on
the context in which the URI is used. Thus, the destinction between
"URI identifies a web resource" and "URI indicates an abstract concept"
depends absolutely on the semantics of the link (the addressing context).

> I can only give it clear, semantic-web processable
> meaning with RDF. 

But then again, it depends on the context in which the URI is used in that
RDF document and it is still possible, even within the same RDF document to
say that a URI is a web page and an abstract concept. So you can still end
up with  "http://www.w3.org/index.html is not a web page".


Jan Algermissen                           http://www.topicmapping.com
Consultant & Programmer	                  http://www.gooseworks.org
Received on Tuesday, 4 February 2003 07:17:02 UTC

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