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Re: reference needed - w3.org versioned documents

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 14:58:55 -0400
Message-Id: <A5137EB7-0D2F-4594-AD5E-DC449C0E7E88@creativecommons.org>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
To: "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>

On Mar 31, 2008, at 1:48 PM, Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) wrote:
> Is the answer not evident from the references is Felix Sasaki's  
> response?
>         http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2008Mar/0136
> A "latest version" URI, which identifies the most recently  
> published draft in a document series.

No. Nothing tells me anything about *which* document series is  
involved, or provides me with any invariants over the elements of the  
series, or tells me the process by which new drafts are produced, or  
even what the past drafts were. So not only do I not know what the  
named entity *is*, I don't know much about it. There's little I can  
say about it that will be understood by someone reading what I say at  
an unknown future time. I don't know who is going to have written  
whatever the "most recently published draft" will be at the time my  
statements about it are read, or what the draft will be saying, or  
even what the draft will be about. The URI might be useful  
heuristically as a hyperlink ("see xxx to see a most recently  
published draft of the zzz working group's spec... probably") but I  
don't see how it's useful as a name to be used in discourse (e.g. RDF).

If I do some detective work I may be able to figure out invariants  
such as the series's subject matter or working group affiliation (and  
the WG's charter), and if I do a *lot* of detective work I might find  
some piece of email or some minutes that say how the URI is going to  
be used, but before I get to that point I will have decided that it's  
not worth the effort to try to use or understand that URI. If I'm  
unfortunate enough to find that someone else has used it in  
communication with me, then I'll have to make assumptions (e.g. that  
the draft they were talking about is close enough to the one I see)  
or enter into dialog with them (which draft are you talking about? or  
what invariants do you know about the series that I don't know?) or  
attempt to verify what they say (since it is probably very easy to be  
wrong in making statements about things like this).

Received on Monday, 31 March 2008 18:59:49 UTC

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