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Re: URIs for terms: motivation [was: Requirements Document]

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 03:53:54 -0500
Message-Id: <p05101442b8927b84d2c9@[192.168.0.6]>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: webont <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
>On Fri, 2002-02-08 at 11:37, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
>>  From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
>>  Subject: Re: Requirements Document
>>  Date: 08 Feb 2002 08:55:47 -0600
>  >
>>  > On Thu, 2002-02-07 at 13:45, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
>[...]
>>  > > The document anticipates some technical features of OWL.  In 
>>particular, it
>>  > > uses URI as the term identification mechanism.
>>  >
>>  > Again, to me, that's a straightfoward elaboration
>>  > of the requirement that we agreed to:
>>  >
>>  > " A unambiguous term referencing using URIs"
>>  >	-- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-webont-wg/2002Jan/0089.html
>>
>>  True.
>>
>  > I am now officially unagreeing to the above.
>
>OK, then I'll elaborate on why I proposed that requirement,
>and explicitly clarified that the word "URI" should occur there.
>
>Hmm... actually, this writeup explains it pretty well:
>
>@prefix ed: <http://www.w3.org/2000/08/eb58#>.
>@prefix dc: <http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/>.
>"""
>The fundamentals: The Universal Web
>
>The most fundamental specification of Web architecture, while one of the
>simpler, is that of the Universal Resource Identifier, or URI. The
>principle that anything, absolutely anything, "on the Web" should
>identified distinctly by an otherwise opaque string of characters (A URI
>and possibly a fragment identifier) is core to the universality.
>
>Great multiplicative power of reuse derives from the facts that all
>languages use URIs as identifiers: This allows things written in one
>language to refer to things defined in another language. The use of URIs
>allows a language leverage the many forms of persistence, identity and
>various forms of equivalence. Each language simply refers to the URI
>spec - this is a flexibility point allowing the properties of naming and
>addressing schemes to be defined separately.
>
>"""

This really needs to be discussed in more detail and deconstructed. 
Its full of nonsequiteurs and misunderstandings. The fact is that the 
entire concept of URI is completely confused right now, and nothing 
in any documentation put out by the W3C is enough to clarify it. We 
can't just take it as a given, we have to have some discussion of 
what it is supposed to mean. In particular, what is "on the Web" ?? 
If a document has a URL and uses a referring expression, is that 
expression on the web? Is the thing named by the expression on the 
web? What does 'identified distinctly' mean, exactly? None of this is 
clear, and getting it clear is one of the most important jobs we 
could do.

Pat

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Received on Friday, 15 February 2002 03:54:00 GMT

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