W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > October 2005

Re: New Intro to RDF

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 19:38:02 +0200
To: martin.hepp@deri.org, tim.glover@bt.com, tauberer@for.net, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.syd29owbwxe0ny@widsith.mshome.net>

On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 01:31:51 +0200, Martin Hepp (DERI extern)  
<martin.hepp@deri.org> wrote:

>> 2. Using URLS does not guarantee uniqueness. Many people may choose to  
>> use the same URL to mean different things.
> (I assume you mean URIs, not URLs)
> I disagree, see Tim-Berners Lee: Cool URIs Don't Change. ("Not URIs  
> change, but humans change them").
> It is just a question of proper definition, and TBL assigns the duty of
> defining the concept identified by a given URI to the "inventor" of this
> URI. In other words: Who introduces a URI has the right to define its
> intension.

Tim is right that changing URIs is fundamentally anti-web behaviour. But  
pretending that the person who happens to own the DNS at some point has  
the right to determine how people will use it is just flying in the face  
of reality.

It is the direct equivalent of the various national institutes that try to  
define languages. Whatever the Academie Française or the ArneMagnasson  
institute says, people use the word "Web" to mean the Web.

> Also, I do not share your concerns about lack of unambiguity. In fact,  
> URIs are a pretty good naming scheme that has scaled up to the size of  
> the Web we have today. Much more, since URIs can be of unlimited length,  
> one can import any other naming scheme space into the URI space.

http uris have proven to be a pretty good system - in the same way as  
words have. There are always things that can go wrong, but they do not  
break the basic reliability of the system itself, which is a mark of  
strength and flexibility.

(tag: and urn: URIs fail to impress me as being useful until there is an  
HTTP service that can resolve them, at which point their advantages over  
HTTP are dependent on HTTP anyway, so why not use that directly?)

Despite these comments, I think it is a pretty good article. The big chunk  
of pseudo-code for querying at the front is indicative of a reasonably  
geeky primary audience, but that's fine. I happily recommend it to people  
as one of the things they should read first. (I prefer to recommend two or  
three of thosee ;-)



Charles McCathieNevile                      chaals@opera.com
          hablo español - je parle français - jeg lærer norsk
         Web dreams are free:   http://www.opera.com/download
Received on Sunday, 9 October 2005 17:38:14 UTC

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