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Re: httpRange-14

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 10:26:07 -0400
Cc: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>, www-tag@w3.org
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Message-Id: <6D7BD9E4-C107-11D7-9CB2-000393914268@w3.org>

I must say, Mr Bray, that I was disappointed by Ongoin's' latest, "On 
Resources".
http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/07/24/HTTP-14
I am going to keep the discussion in www-tag.

You say that the TAG should concentrate on the web as it has been 
before the semantic web and web services, and that you will be happy if 
the architecture works for that, even if it does not work for web 
services and semantic web.

That is a pity, partly because the web is no good unless it can be a 
sound foundation for the semantic web and web services too. WSDL and 
RDF have real serious issues on the table, working groups which need a 
consistent framework.

It is also a pity, given that the Advisory Committee asked us 
specifically to give guidance in these new areas, with priority.

You say,
>  "If I claim that  http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/misc/Tim represents me 
> , Tim Bray [as opposed to the web page of that URI, I assume], you 
> might raise your eyebrows but it would not cause any software either 
> to break or work better."

Do you have any software to which you could say that?
Can I ask it old <http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/misc/Tim> is?

The WSAG has come with a specific problem of making up identifiers for 
abstract things which can be dereferenced to produce a WSDL document. 
If we can't distinguish between abstract things and documents, we have 
a problem.

> """Doctor, It Hurts When I Do This ---So donít do it"""

The TAG's job, as spec writers jobs are, to describe what to do so that 
it won't hurt.


>  "Trying to make assertions about what resources must be or not be, in 
> the context of the architecture of todayís Web, is a dead-end street. 
> Others may be willing to invest time in arguing propositions whose 
> truth or falsehood has no observable effect, and which are not subject 
> to scientific verification, but Iím not."

You may be oblivious to whether a proposition is true or false, but 
semantic web systems are not.  A simple form of RDF validation consists 
of looking up ontologies and making sure that nothing is in two 
disjoint classes.  The DAML validator service is one implementation.   
This works by checking that confusions have not been made for example 
between people and web pages.  It is useful. It finds human input 
error.  If you don't have axioms which distinguish between different 
classes then yo have much less to go on when finding errors. In 
general, the semantic web cares a lot about the truth of assertions.

Whether and SVG circle is blue or green has very little effect on some 
of *my* software, but I credit the graphics folks on being reasonable 
people in basing their whole field on things like that.  Please do the 
same for the communities which are not your own cup of tea.

The relevance to the TAG is the the principle that, as Pat says, we all 
mean the same thing by a URI.  That means that RDF and WSDL have to 
agree with the rest of the technology.  The TAG has the job of 
understanding the union - not the intersection - of web technology.

I had suggested that the TAG bring up a closely related issue of what 
RDF documents mean, which is closely tied to what URIs 
mean/identify/denote.   My intent has been that a task force be formed 
of some from the TAG and some from the SWCG (directly or indirectly).   
  There was some skepticism expressed that the TAG know what it was 
talking about in this area. Even if we don't understand it, we should 
show respect.

Tim
Received on Monday, 28 July 2003 10:26:12 GMT

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