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Re: Can "http://danbri.org" and "http://danbri.org/" URIs represent different things?

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2009 22:33:40 -0400
Message-ID: <4A4D6E04.2080207@musc.edu>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Dan Brickley wrote:
> On 2/7/09 22:50, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> On Jul 2, 2009, at 3:42 PM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:54 PM, Dan Brickley<danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
>>>> Hello TAG,
>>>> Talking with some SW folk about OpenID, and whether my
>>>> "me-the-person" URI
>>>> could be practically usable as my OpenID, I came up with this
>>>> corner-case:
>>>> Could http://danbri.org be a URI for "me the person", and
>>>> http://danbri.org/
>>>> be a document about me (and also serve as my OpenID)?
>>>> As I understand HTTP, any client must request something, so the
>>>> former isn't
>>>> directly de-referencable. The client has to decide to ask for / from
>>>> danbri.org instead. But they're still different URIs, aren't they?
>>>> Is...
>>>> <Person xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1"/
>>>> rdf:about="http://danbri.org">
>>>> <openid>
>>>> <Document rdf:about="http://danbri.org/"/>
>>>> </openid>
>>>> </Person>
>>>> ...at all feasible? I guess it depends on how exactly we think about the
>>>> "add a / to the end" step...
>>>> From an RDF point of view the URI strings are different means that
>>> they can denote different things.
>>> I guess the question I have about this is: Why be so "clever"?
>> I think I can answer that. Because people are. In fact, people use the
>> same name for a person and the person's website and the person's name,
>> etc., often without even noticing that they are doing it, and certainly
>> without falling into instant incoherence or having their brains catch
>> fire. But our inference engines can't handle this kind of ambiguity, at
>> present. So it would be handy if a notational convention could be
>> adopted that allowed the dumb machinery to keep its prissy distinctions
>> distinct, while allowing human readers to be sloppy without even
>> noticing that they are being sloppy. This idea is an elegant step in
>> that direction, if it can be made to work.
>> This might not be danbri's motivation, but it is why the idea appeals to
>> me :-)
> That's pretty much it. I somehow feel awkward when "normal" Web folk are 
> in the practice of putting URIs for their homepage and blogs into 
> business cards and email sigs, while SemWeb folk put URIs "for 
> themselves not their pages", which are usually somewhat different and 
> contain random different punctuation like prefixing "me-as-me" to the 
> domain name, or "#me" to the end of the URI. This convention means that 
>   - for those prepared to actually buy a domain name - there is 
> essentially one thing to remember and not two, and that the "with / it's 
> a doc, without it's a person" can be a re-usable, memorable pattern.
> cheers,
> Dan
I fell for both Dan/Pat and Alan's view.  As humans, we are lazy by 
nature.  If things ain't broken, we usually won't fix it. But on the 
other hand, as Alan suggested, ambiguity can only be removed by 
education and careful usage.

Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 02:34:27 UTC

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