W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > August 2007

RE: RDF for molecules, using InChI

From: Chimezie Ogbuji <ogbujic@ccf.org>
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 10:13:48 -0400
To: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>
cc: "Alan Ruttenberg" <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, "Egon Willighagen" <egon.willighagen@gmail.com>, "public-semweb-lifesci hcls" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, "Michel_Dumontier" <Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca>, "Jonathan A Rees" <jar@mumble.net>
Message-ID: <1186582428.6447.47.camel@otherland>

On Mon, 2007-08-06 at 14:59 -0400, Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) 
> What has caused this thinking to shift more recently is the realization
> that: (1) HTTP URIs can be used as globally unambiguous names (or
> "identifiers") of things other than web pages (or "information
> resources"); and (2) the use of an HTTP URI does *not* imply that HTTP
> must be used to retrieve a representation or other information about it.

I agree (wholeheartedly with point number 2), however (as I'm sure you
know) this stands in *direct* opposition to the Linked Data philosophy.
The risk of not properly communicating this second point to the growing
community of SW software developers is exponential increase of the load
on HTTP servers.

Something has to give.  We either need to do the due diligence in
educating consumers of semantic-web-friendly on the proper use of the
HTTP scheme with RDF terms or educate them to the merits of URI schemes
which don't have a (built-in) network resolution component but do have
well defined semantics for identity management.  I would argue that the
disconnect between your point 2 above (a necessary first step) and the
(once unspoken but now clearly articulated) expectation of being able to
get useful information from *all* RDF URI terms in the HTTP scheme is a
symptom of a bad problem with very negative consequences.

> In other words, it has to do with more clearly understanding the dual
> use of an HTTP URI both as a locator and as a location-independent name.

Yes, and there are mixed signals being given which don't help reaching
such an understanding.

> Rather, the purpose was to clearly show the *superiority* of HTTP URIs
> to *all* URN schemes or sub-scheme, without having to quibble about the
> details of any particular URN scheme or sub-scheme.  

The superiority you speak of mostly comes from the opaque nature of the
HTTP scheme components which have nothing to do with network resolution.
Consider EBNF which is opaque about everything else except lexical
constraints.  You can express most (if not all?) XML schemas in an EBNF,
but that doesn't negate the value of using XML schemas to define
families of XML documents.

Chimezie Ogbuji
Lead Systems Analyst
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
9500 Euclid Avenue/ W26
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Office: (216)444-8593


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Received on Wednesday, 8 August 2007 14:14:08 UTC

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