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Re: Link: relation registry and 303

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 18:44:09 -0500
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Message-Id: <FBAFE448-604E-47B6-8295-D152A8D1D1C3@creativecommons.org>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>

Tim,

Thanks for your comments on this, they are helpful.

On Jan 29, 2009, at 2:39 PM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:

> This architectural decision has been made and the cost in time
> of reopening it would be huge.  Further, there is a very large
> number of large resources in the Linked Open Data community which use
> the architecture and Linked Data clients which would have problems  
> with an IANA site
> which equates a document and a property.

Fine, but that won't matter to anyone unless they hear a convincing  
argument as to why respecting the httpRange-14 rule is important -  
what breaks? Why? What clients? (This is a genuine plea, one I've made  
previously, for information, not a challenge.) httpRange-14 still  
encounters heavy resistance from well-informed people after four  
years. It needs better marketing.

Some anecdotes would really help me here. The question "what concrete  
problem does it solve" is one I have trouble answering. I can make up  
stories, talk about communication friction and so on, but the abstract  
answers are not very convincing. I liked the bookmarking scenario you  
started on the call, and would like to hear more about it.

I don't think IANA (or Mark N) would be equating a document and a  
property. They are just saying that the 200 doesn't mean it's a  
document, and who are the TAG and the semantic web community to tell  
me otherwise?

> There are best practice documents such as
> http://www.w3.org/TR/swbp-vocab-pub/#recipe2
> to help developers set up web sites.

Difficulty of execution has not been the hurdle in the conversations  
I've had (but I do not deny that it's an issue for some people).

> The semantic web architecture has been developed on top of the  
> Internet
> architecture. (You cannot be expected to derive it from the HTTP  
> spec.)
> I can imagine IANA being hesitant to adopt linked data. It took a long
> time for IANA to move toward publishing linked hypertext documents,  
> as plain text
> was the rule for many years.

This is not about IANA really; it's about two engineers active in IETF  
who don't care, an RFC 2616 author who doesn't get it, and a TAG  
member who can't sell the idea.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Internet architecture" if not what's  
documented in the RFCs. What am I missing?

I have thought of starting an httpRange-14 marketing circular, but I  
don't know everything I need to know, even though I've been following  
the discussion for over two years. I would have to dig into the www- 
tag archives and old TAG minutes to get some idea of how we got where  
we are. I'm in favor both of the particular rule (as good practice)  
and of the principle that the decision has been made and that we  
should follow it, but liking the rule is no help when asking others to  
follow it.

(I vote for it even though I haven't a clue what "represent" or  
"information resource" mean in practice, but that's another story.)

> I would note that it would in fact be great for everything at IANA  
> to have URIs which work in the linked data world.  All kinds of  
> technology would benefit from having URIs for IANA concepts.
> It would also be a good example for governments etc all over the  
> world.
>
> However, if not, in the meantime, while the IANA does not wish to be  
> compliant with the
> linked data architecture, one could simply replace the iana.org
> domain name with w3.org and run a compliant registry there.
> So a possibility would be for Mark's draft to replace the namespace  
> for
> describedBy in this way.

This sounds like a good compromise. I'll be interested to hear what  
Mark says. Putting it in W3C space has other benefits as well, such as  
being closer to where HTML, XHTML, RDFa, and POWDER - basically all  
the specs that might make use of it - are maintained. And I have found  
precedent for normative non-IANA URIs in RFCs (3651 and 4452), so it's  
not out of the question.

(A different compromise would be for the Link: relation URI to be  
defined to denote/identify a document that describes the relation...)

I'm willing to believe you when you say it's just a matter of time  
before the world sees that sites following the httpRange-14 rule have  
a clear advantage over those that don't. Unfortunately my vision of  
what that advantage would be is rather murky. (I'm not talking about  
RDF or linked data, which I think will eventually come to have  
recognized value. I'm only talking about httpRange-14.)

Tim, I'm really not trying to fight it, I'm just frustrated that I  
don't know how to advocate for it.

> If anyone at IANA needs help figuring out how to do this, I would be  
> haoppy to hep,
> as would typically various people in irc://irc.freenode.net/swig .
>
> Tim
>
[...]
> Were your discussions on an archived list?

No, sorry.

-Jonathan
Received on Thursday, 29 January 2009 23:45:02 GMT

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