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Re: BioRDF: URI Best Practices

From: Sean Martin <sjmm@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 11:10:04 -0400
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF8F83FD6C.423AAA4A-ON852571B2.0050BD27-852571B2.005351B1@us.ibm.com>
Hi Alan,

> So my proposal suggests a class that defines ways of transforming the 
> URI you find in a SW document into URLs that get specific types of 
> information. The fact that a transform to URL is provided means you get 
> the transport (because it is part of the transformed URL). Different 
> properties of the class let you retrieve different patterns for 
> different sorts of information (1.). The representation 2., is not 
> explicitly represented, it should instead be part of the definitions of 
> the properties. We typically want to know *before* we dereference, what 
> we would get back.

> There's more to elaborate about such a proposal and details to work 
> out, but I think, for instance, that it can handle the LSID use cases.

This sounds interesting. Please could you elaborate a little so that we 
can think it through to see what exactly it does address and what it would 
entail. It seems to me some of it may well work in the situations where 
the web is current and you actually have a SW document (an LSID is also 
intended as an persistent independent reference which can be used as the 
key to a 3rd party annotation for example), but as a long term 
naming/dereferencing solution it breaks down as the web backing it ages 
and bit rot sets in. 

Perhaps this is one of the key problems with using URLs as names for 
things that have a digital existence. The issues of broken links is a 
difficult one because once the primary source at a particular location 
disappears you have nothing left to go on to find a copy of the thing 
named besides what you can find in the WayBack machine or perhaps a Google 
cache. As I suggested in my last post, have a look at your emails from a 
year or two back and see what percentage of URL links still work. The fact 
is that organizations change direction, people move, machines break or are 
reorganized and so too does the web that echoes this.  I have always found 
that the web reflecting what is current is usually ok, but the web 
reflecting the past state of things is much much less so. Of course 
sometimes it is even hard to figure out what is actually current too! 
Unfortunately repeatable science and of course legal obligations require 
us to have decent answers here too, or am I missing something?

Kindest regards, Sean

Sean Martin
IBM Corp
Received on Friday, 21 July 2006 15:10:15 UTC

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