W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-webont-wg@w3.org > February 2002

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

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 14:58:53 -0500
Message-Id: <p05101449b89316b9f5a5@[]>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: webont <www-webont-wg@w3.org>
>From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
>Subject: Re: URIs for terms: motivation [was: Requirements Document]
>Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 10:36:39 -0500
>>  >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 - thanks for the many very valuable contributions you made today
>>  (glad you found the missing mail :->)   On this one, however, I want
>>  to make a "Chair's statement" which is that while I personally agree
>>  with the fact that getting this right is crucial, and hope fervently
>>  that the W3C Technical Architecture Group is working the issue, I
>>  think we can RULE THIS OUT OF SCOPE for our working group - we can
>>  certainly state what version or document, or what assumptions about
>>  URIs we are making, but trying to solve this is well-beyond our
>>  charter and I want to make sure we don't spend too much time going in
>>  this direction...
>>    -JH

OK, Jim, I agree that we can't take the entire making-sense-of-URIs 
issue on board. I guess I just wanted to register a protest at the 
idea that statements like the one quoted constituted any kind of 
answer to the questions that arise.

>Let me come down firmly in the middle here.
>I think that there are problems with URIs that need to be addressed before
>WebOnt can finish.  However, I think that WebOnt doesn't need a complete
>solution (even assuming that a complete solution is possible).

I agree.

>So, in particular, I suggest that the WG mandate the Chair to send a strong
>message to the *POWERS*THAT*BE* saying that we desperately need a way of
>accessing XML Schema document definitions.
>Other issues that we probably need to have addressed have to do with
>identity of URIs.  Right now URIs are the same if and only if they are
>bit-for-bit identical.  However, we should all know many groups of URIs
>that are not the same under this definition but that necessarily refer to
>the same thing.

Ok, let me stake out another middlin' area that I think we do need to 
at least think seriously about. We use URIs in at least two distinct 
ways. They are used as logical constant symbols; and they are used to 
identify documents which contain ontological content written in some 
language. Right now we just smush these together; I'd like us to at 
least think about whether we ought to keep these uses separate, if 
only conceptually, and what the relationships between them are.


IHMC					(850)434 8903   home
40 South Alcaniz St.			(850)202 4416   office
Pensacola,  FL 32501			(850)202 4440   fax
Received on Friday, 15 February 2002 14:58:50 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:56:41 UTC