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Re: "How to Publish Linked Data" vs "Cool URIs don't change"

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 12:26:55 +0200
Cc: public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <7C9A5757-942B-4DA3-8E90-05C1F5A6B51F@cyganiak.de>
To: Christopher St John <ckstjohn@gmail.com>
On 10 Jul 2009, at 07:42, Christopher St John wrote:
> Specifically, in Section 3 "Choosing URIs" of HtPLDotW,
> the suggestion to use mnemonic names (names linked to
> some of the data about the object) has proven to be
> problematic in practice. The "What to leave out" section
> of "Cool URIs don't change" is very explicit that this is an
> anti-pattern and should be avoided.
> Now, there's a legitimate balancing act between using the
> "don't depend on natural keys" best practice and minting
> Linked Data URLs that are amenable to pattern-based links,
> but for the most part doing things like including the word
> "Berlin" in a canonical URI is just asking for trouble in the
> long (200 year?) term (just ask the residents of Bombay)

When it comes to opaque or mnemonic URIs, there is a tradeoff between  
reusability and longevity. Entirely opaque URIs are less likely to be  
re-used and linked to than mnemonic ones. The practices in "How To  
Publish" are really about pushing re-use and linking to the max,  
because that was the first thing that needed to happen. Longevity  
matters only after someone actually starts using your URIs.

If you really require your system to live 200 years, URIs are the  
smallest of your problems. I suggest starting with a bomb shelter.


> There's an escape hatch if you choose to use a widely
> recognized naming scheme (like, say, ISBN numbers), but
> even then there are risks if the semantics of the identifier
> scheme don't match _exactly_ with the way the scheme is
> being re-used (ISBN numbers don't correspond to books in
> the way most people expect, and the fact that they can be
> re-used generally comes as a surprise)
> But, before I go saying critical things about HtPLDotW in
> front of a live (and well informed) audience, I wanted to
> do a sanity check.
> Thanks for any feedback,
> -cks
> -- 
> Christopher St. John
> cks@praxisbridge.com
> http://praxisbridge.com
> http://artofsystems.blogspot.com
Received on Saturday, 11 July 2009 10:27:38 UTC

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