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RE: Understanding URI Hosting Practice as Support for Documentation Discovery: 'meaning of meaning'

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:47:36 -0500
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1330544856.10438.69726.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Wed, 2012-02-29 at 09:30 -0800, Larry Masinter wrote:
[ . . . ]
> I think the questions the document tries to answer is cannot be
> answered without a model that takes into account identity, belief,
> communication, and time.
> In particular, a model that talks about "meaning" without being
> explicit about "to whom" and "when" cannot be used to explain and
> reason about meaning in a communication protocol.

I agree entirely.  The whole issue of "meaning" is an endless rat hole,
and there is no need for this document to get into it.  The document
should simply define *mechanisms* for conveying a URI definition,
without saying anything at all about how that URI definition should be
interpreted or what it means.

I plan to submit an alternate version of the document as a change
proposal, to address this and several other concerns.  Here is my
current draft text to avoid this particular rat hole:
Although this specification defines a protocol for providing and
discovering a URI definition, this specification is not concerned with
the interpretation or “meaning” of a URI definition that is conveyed.
This specification places no requirements whatsoever on the form, truth
or usefulness of any statements contained in a URI definition, nor does
it dictate whether or how an application must use such statements.
Furthermore, this specification does not prohibit applications from
using other means of obtaining URI definitions. Such questions are
outside the scope of this protocol specification.

The latest version of this alternate draft document is at:
Comments, criticisms and suggestions regarding this alternate version
are invited, either public or private.

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 19:48:01 UTC

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