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Re: Information resources?

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 11:33:58 -0700
Message-Id: <FA5535C5-0357-11D9-83F4-000393753936@gbiv.com>
Cc: W3C TAG <www-tag@w3.org>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>

> Also, isn't the fatal flaw to "do nothing" the fact that you can't
> possible tell whether
>
>    <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006251587X>
>         dc:author "Tim Berners-Lee"
>
> is true or not?   It's true if you take that to be the URI of a book,
> and false if you take it to be the URI of a web page.

No, unless you find somebody has died due to an ambiguous assertion.

The subject is ambiguous because you seem to think of it as a web page
(the collection of resource representations that result from an initial
GET on the identified resource plus its subsidiary resources that are
also retrieved, depending on the user agent configuration, until an
application steady-state is achieved and the "user" can view the
resulting page), whereas HTTP considers it to be just an identifier
for the purpose of one request.

The predicate is ambiguous because dc:creator is a catch-all metadata
item that is not targeted to any singular aspect of creation nor
limited to any specific type of object.

The object is ambiguous because everyone knows that string literals
don't author, so we just assume it is a name and that the name is
somehow unique to the individual who is supposedly a creator of
something vaguely identified as the subject.

There is no way to make the above unambiguous by making false
assumptions about the nature of the "http" scheme.  If you want
unambiguous assertions, you need to provide a great deal of
elaboration and specificity to every term, just like any other
KR system (and human language as well).  Introducing a new syntax
cannot solve fundamental AI problems.

....Roy
Received on Friday, 10 September 2004 18:34:31 GMT

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