The Test of Independent Invention (was: What Does Point Number 3 of TimBL's Linked Data Mean?)

It took me quite a while to understand this fully.  IMHO, it is really
worth digesting.  I think it also sheds light on how to approach some of
the topics raised in the last week.


*The Test of Independent Invention*

There's a test I use for technology which the Consortium is thinking of
adopting, and I'll call it the Independent Invention test. Just suppose
that someone had invented exactly the same system somewhere else, but made
all the arbitrary decisions differently. Suppose after many years of
development and adoption, the two systems came together. Would they work

Take the Web. I tried to make it pass the test. Suppose someone had (and it
was quite likely) invented a World Wide Web system somewhere else with the
same principles. Suppose they called it the Multi Media Mesh (tm) and based
it on Media Resource Identifiers(tm), the MultiMedia Transport
Protocol(tm), and a Multi Media Markup Language(tm). After a few years, the
Web and the Mesh meet. What is the damage?

A huge battle, involving the abandonment of projects, conversion or loss of
Division of the world by a border commission into two separate communities?
Smooth integration with only incremental effort?

Obviously we are looking for the latter option. Fortunately, we could
immediately extend URIs to include "mmtp://" and extend MRIs to include
"http;\\". We could make gateways, and on the better browsers immediately
configure them to go through a gateway when finding a URI of the new type. *

The URI space is universal: it covers all addresses of all accessible
objects. But it does not have to be the only universal space. Universal,
but not unique.*

-- Tim Berners-Lee


Received on Saturday, 22 June 2013 12:56:20 UTC