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LC Comments, 3.4

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2004 00:10:52 +0100
Message-Id: <5902B692-6EFA-11D8-BF98-0003939E0B44@isr.umd.edu>
To: public-webarch-comments@w3.org

"""Successful communication between two parties using a piece of 
information relies on shared understanding of the meaning of the 

I'll spare you the critical analysis of the opening platitude of a 
section of a document. It's not clear to me, however, that they are, in 
fact, useful.

"""Arbitrary numbers of independent parties can identify and 
communicate about a Web resource. To give these parties the confidence 
that they are all talking about the same thing when they refer to "the 
resource identified by the following URI ..." the design choice for the 
Web is, in general, that the owner of a resource assigns the 
authoritative interpretation of representations of the resource."""

So, this is "in general", which suggests that "in specific" this might 
not be the case. For example, when the owner of the resource, uh, *gets 
it wrong*. One example is ""Inconsistencies between Metadata and 
Representation Data"".

So, let's generalize. What if the owner of the resource gets the 
*information* encoded in the message wrong? Is that authoritative? What 
would that mean? Suppose I retrieve a representation of my purchase 
order, does the resource owner have an authorative interprestion of the 
*meaning of the order*, interpreting my "5 very cheap things, please" 
as "5000 hugely expensive things, you bastard!!!"?

There is a sensible thing buried in here, I think. I think it's quite 
right to be judicious in ignoring narrow, well understood and somewhat 
verifiable represenation metadata. One example (if there were a media 
type for OWL-DL and OWL-Full as well as RDF) would be interpreting a 
retrieved ontology as OWL-DL vs. just as RDF. Different inferences are 
licenced, and there are times where one might want to publish the 
ontology for RDF interpretation only.

Of course, really, it would be best if the format provided a way to 
specify this.

Ok, I've worn myself, and, I imagine, y'all out, not to mention my 
gracious sweetie sitting next to me. I think this shall have to be my 
last comment. I feel reasonably confident I could generate more, given 
time and incentive.

Bijan Parsia.
Received on Friday, 5 March 2004 18:10:50 UTC

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