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Re: AWWSW status (F2F prep)

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 16:10:49 -0400
To: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <1268856649.32757.155.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Excellent summary!

David

On Wed, 2010-03-17 at 14:15 -0400, Jonathan Rees wrote:
> AWWSW status (F2F prep)
> 
> The AWWSW group was started because Alan Ruttenberg and I were doing
> quite a bit of ontology design and ontology advising and didn't
> understand the resource/representation relationship (and the
> "information resource" idea, which is intimately bound up with it)
> well enough to do our work or guide others.  The question comes up
> when you have things that you want to give a URI to, and you want to
> use 200 responses (non-# non-303 URI), but want to be protected
> against someone coming along later and saying "hey, that's not an
> information resource," or "but you said it's an IR, and that implies
> xxx" where you don't mean to say xxx, or "that's an IR, but not the one
> you want it to be".
> 
> This is dual (equivalent) to the question: Suppose you get 200
> responses, is it OK to then decide that the named resource
> is some particular thing or has certain properties?  E.g., if I am
> the owner of dx.doi.org, can I say that the URI
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbn051 names the journal article
> that's indicated in the representation (so that I can license others to use
> the URI when recording metadata)?  (Note that this is a subtle
> example.  The httpRange-14 rule by itself is not adequate to rule this in or
> out.  In particular the representation might fail to be "of" the
> journal article even if we decide the journal article is an IR.  Also
> there is redirection involved, which complicates things further.)
> 
> Alan and I approached the TAG, which said essentially "you figure it out."
> (Shortly thereafter I discovered that I was on the TAG.)
> 
> Some ontologies where this is an issue include FRBR, Dublin Core,
> Bibo, SWAN, CiTO, IAO, and IRW, but as the practice of metadata
> deployment, document and media annotation, etc. increases
> (perhaps with the help of the Link: header?), I expect there to be
> many more.
> 
> A broader motivation, which I share with TimBL, is that if we had a
> logical framework (perhaps expressible in RDF or OWL), we'd have a
> tool that we could use to help clear up a number of number of web
> architecture muddles.  httpRange-14 is just an example; another
> recent one on www-tag was "are HTML elements information
> resources?"
> 
> A third motivation is that an RDF vocabulary for webarch could be
> useful in a number of application domains, e.g. testing and
> validation, or recording change logs (e.g. Memento), or "HTTP over
> SPARQL", or further developing Tim's generic resources ontology
> (genont).
> 
> Additional concerns have been raised in the group about how
> URIs might become bound to things, but I have not pursued
> this (yet). My current theory is that URI binding is a personal matter
> subject to your belief set, and how you come to that is your
> own business. You may choose to let what happens on the
> Web influence your beliefs, and there may be a recommended
> elective way to allow this to happen, and
> perhaps an outcome of this project, in the future, might be
> such a way.
> 
> I can't say we've made a lot of visible progress, but I think I do
> understand the problem better now that I did before.
> 
> First, Roy Fielding is right: We're not just talking about HTTP
> semantics, but rather the semantics of that part of web architecture
> that is expressible in HTTP.  This includes the
> resource/representation relationship, the various redirects (including
> 303), and possibly existence (creation and deletion).  I think webarch
> as deployed might include REST as a subset, but certainly there are
> resources deployed using GET+200 that do not obey REST discipline, and
> we need to account for these somehow.
> 
> Second, TimBL has provided more information about his view of what is
> and isn't an information resource, and he thinks they're like.  I have
> been unable so far (my
> inadequacy) to combine these use cases with other constraints (such as
> grandfathering all possible web pages) into an actionable definition
> that makes sense to me, but I continue to work at it.
> 
> Third, "authoritative" per the updated http: URI scheme in HTTPbis is,
> I think, orthogonal to the R/R problem.  The "authoritative" responses
> do not determine the resource uniquely, they only say that it belongs
> to a class of resources that participate in the R/R relationships
> communicated by the responses.  A contradiction between an
> "authoritative" response and other information believed about the
> resource might lead you to discount the "authoritative" response (as
> recommended by the GBIF persistent identifiers report) or to
> stop using that URI to name the resource, just as easily as it might
> lead you to doubt what you thought you knew about the resource.
> 
> Of course, the ability of an agent to speak HTTP-authoritatively about
> a resource may be due to the agent's ability to control the resource
> and therefore its "representations". For these particular resources,
> the R/R relationship holds because the agent says so. For others
> (such as Moby Dick) it might hold in spite of what the agent says.
> 
> I am concentrating on the resource/representation relationship.  My
> ambition is that if we have a story about when this holds and doesn't
> hold - in particular how to falsify it - then answering the
> question "what is an information resource" will fall out as a side
> effect: an IR is simply something which happens to be able to
> participate in this relationship.
> 
> So far the best lead I've encountered so far in understanding the
> relationship is ABLP logic, as is being pursued by Dan Connolly.  It
> may be that ABLP can't be used directly, as convincing someone that a
> web page is a principal, or that "principal" has any ontological
> consequence, might be a tough sell.  Or it may be that this, too, is
> an ontological wild goose chase, or that ABLP is about
> the URI/resource relationship instead of the resource/representation
> relationship.  But it's worth pursuing.
> 
> Open issues on which these considerations impinge:
>   ISSUE-50 URNs and registries - persistence vs. trust in "authority"
>   ISSUE-57 HTTP redirections - consequences of 30x
>   ISSUE-63 metadata architecture - metadata for http:-named resources
>   ISSUE-53 generic resources (appears to be closeable)
> 
> Next step (for me): Look in more detail at the kinds of metadata,
> including class memberships, one might want to write using the
> abovementioned ontologies for some sample resources,
> and attempt to generalize from there.
> 
> I'll try to have slideware ready in time for the F2F.
> 
> Thanks to Michael Hausenblas and David Booth for their help.
> This email is in the first person because they haven't
> seen it to agree with it or not, but I am happy to expand
> "I" to "we" for anything they want to take credit for above.
> Thanks also to many others including Alan, Tim, Harry Halpin,
> Stuart Williams, and Noah for their contributions.
> 
> Jonathan
> 
> too pressed for time to look up URIs for all the things cited. here
> are the obscurest ones:
> memento: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/memento_protocol-based_time_travel_for_the_web.php
> gbif: http://www2.gbif.org/Persistent-Identifiers.pdf
> iao: http://code.google.com/p/information-artifact-ontology/
> genont: www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Generic.html
> the others you should be able to get from google or tracker.
> 
> 
> 


-- 
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 20:11:18 GMT

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