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httpRange-14 Two Years On

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@miscoranda.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 17:15:24 +0000
Message-ID: <b6bb4d890712040915v5819722dpdf8cc9e7c28ae257@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org
I thought I used to understand httpRange-14, but I'm losing my grasp
on it, almost entirely.

When I had to confront the issue for EARL (before the TAG got around
to it), the problem that I had was that if I had a URI such as
<http://example.org/amaya>, we couldn't be sure whether the URI
denoted Amaya the authoring tool/program, or some documentation about

So what we did was to put in indirection properties:

* [ is :doc of <http://example.org/amaya> ] means that if that URI
denotes a tool then the subject bnode is documentation about the tool;
and if the URI denotes documentation about a tool then :doc merely
means owl:sameAs.
* [ is :tool of <http://example.org/amaya> ] means that if that URI
denotes documentation about the tool then the subject bnode is the
tool that the documentation is about; and if the URI denotes the tool
itself then :tool merely means owl:sameAs.

Now when httpRange-14 was resolved by the TAG, I thought great, that
means that the problem there is resolved without the need for
indirection properties. You can do an HTTP GET on
http://example.org/amaya and if it returns a 200 then it must be an
information resource, so it can't be a tool but it could be
documentation. And if you get a 303 then... well it could be either.

But then... that doesn't really resolve *anything* does it? If it
returns a 200 then it could be documentation about Amaya or it could
be Moby Dick, and if it returns a 303 then it could be Amaya, or
documentation about Amaya, or Moby Dick, or the moon, or a unicorn, or

In other words, httpRange-14 doesn't help out in this case at all. As
I just wrote to David Booth, I don't understand what intrinsic
beneficial properties InformationResource has in the wider case
either—intrinsic properties that are beneficial enough to offset make
publishing stuff on the Semantic Web such a pain. I know there's a lot
of noise about this right now... but perhaps there's due cause.

Somebody help me out here?

Sean B. Palmer, http://inamidst.com/sbp/
Received on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 17:15:41 UTC

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