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Re: RDF-ISSUE-103 (dereferenceable-iris): Make dereferenceable IRIs a SHOULD in RDF Concepts [RDF Concepts]

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2012 12:06:21 +0000
Message-Id: <9A5FDC9A-E5F2-49CC-80F2-9D60DB6FBFF1@cyganiak.de>
To: RDF Working Group <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
On 1 Nov 2012, at 13:33, RDF Working Group Issue Tracker wrote:
> I would thus like to propose that a normative statement like the following is added to RDF Concepts:
> "When deferenced, IRIs SHOULD return an RDF Document that describes the denoted resource by means of RDF statements."

Quoting (somewhat selectively) from Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One:

Identification, interaction, and representation are orthogonal concepts, meaning that technologies used for identification, interaction, and representation may evolve independently. When two specifications are orthogonal, one may change one without requiring changes to the other, even if one has dependencies on the other. This orthogonality increases the flexibility and robustness of the Web. Experience demonstrates that problems arise where orthogonal concepts occur in a single specification. Problems also arise when specifications attempt to modify orthogonal abstractions described elsewhere.

And most importantly:

PRINCIPLE: ORTHOGONALITY. Orthogonal abstractions benefit from orthogonal specifications.

RDF Concepts is a specification concerned with representation. Dereferencing is an interaction concern.

The practical reason against writing “IRIs MAY/SHOULD dereference” in RDF Concepts: It would make it harder to make stronger statements (IRIs MUST dereference) in other specifications, such as LDP-WG's. Orthogonal concerns are better left to orthogonal specifications.


PROPOSAL: Close ISSUE-103 without further discussion to avoid running afoul of Web Architecture Principle 5.1.

Received on Tuesday, 6 November 2012 12:06:53 UTC

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