W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-openannotation@w3.org > July 2014

Re: gelatinous resources and naming things with their hashes

From: Benjamin Young <bigbluehat@hypothes.is>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 09:14:33 -0400
Message-ID: <CAE3H5FJb=TQGcWVxafdsJbZLQrMceRX61Q+R-C5e6HBqP13aag@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bob Morris <morris.bob@gmail.com>
Cc: public-openannotation <public-openannotation@w3.org>
On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM, Bob Morris <morris.bob@gmail.com> wrote:

> MediaWiki(MW) installations such as WikiPedia, and perhaps most Content
> Management Systems, serve jellylike documents. By this I mean that while
> they offer a "permanent link" claimed to be a URL to a "specific version",
> that parmalink value doesn't  change when the served html changes because
> something changes in the chain of document construction calls ("Templates"
> in MW) .  This seems to make the permalink a less than wonderful URI
> especially for the object of such things as oa:hasScope, or in general for
> other predicates that implicitly, or explicitly, require that one or
> another URI refers to an immutable resource.

Would this problem be served by MediaWiki (and others) using the <main />
tag in their content? I realize someone may be annotating the navigation
components of the page--which would very likely change with the
template--but for the most part folks would be annotating the content of
the page.

The HTML we ship to browsers has long been "muddied" by navigational
elements--since we gave up on browsers providing those...sometime in the

I wonder if something like the Content-Location header could be implemented
plus a consistent (heh...as if...) use of `text/html` or a new
`text/content+html` (or something) to specific the actually resource devoid
of navigation, etc.

The <main /> tag idea is likely more feasible, resilient, and implementable
in the near term and would at least make somethings more resilient.

> I only recently became aware of IETF 6920, "Hash-based URIs" and don't
> recall that it, or anything like it, has surfaced in this list.  6920 gives
> a standardized way to name text resources by their hash values.  Of course,
> if hash values are of use in provenance, scope, or other OA concerns, a
> community could decide for itself how to exploit them,  but to an extent,
> IETF 6920 already offers such a way.....

I've been pondering RFC 6920 for use with offline (non-URL'd) document
annotation--like my downloaded copy of "Information Management: a
proposal." If a tool (browser or otherwise) provided ni:// URI's for the
document, then it would matter (less) where it lived and moving or
publishing my annotations would be far easier and require less human

That forks this topic a bit, so if this part is of interest, perhaps we
retitle. :)

Thanks for posting this, Bob!

> Comments?
> p.s.  I usually whine about URIs with any semantics whatsover, so I'm not
> sure whether I'd argue against 6920 on these grounds.  And yet....
> p.p.s.  In fact has 6920 taken off anywhere at all?
> [1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6920 is an IETF Proposed Standard for
> hash-based URIs.
> Bob Morris
> --
> Robert A. Morris
> Emeritus Professor  of Computer Science
> UMASS-Boston
> 100 Morrissey Blvd
> Boston, MA 02125-3390
> Filtered Push Project
> Harvard University Herbaria
> Harvard University
> email: morris.bob@gmail.com
> web: http://efg.cs.umb.edu/
> web: http://wiki.filteredpush.org
> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram
> ===
> The content of this communication is made entirely on my
> own behalf and in no way should be deemed to express
> official positions of The University of Massachusetts at Boston or Harvard
> University.
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2014 06:47:37 UTC

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