Re: URIs and Unique IDs

----- "John Graybeal" <> wrote:

> On Nov 3, 2008, at 10:48 AM, Michael Lang(Jr.) wrote:
> >  I strongly believe (and it seems that you and John agree) that if a
> > UID for a concept changes, the old version must have some way of  
> > pointing to the new version.
> Funny, I would have said this the other way around (new points back to
> old, then the system services can provide the old -> new capability --
> or is this what you are saying too?).  I have this notion that *any* 
> change to a static resource's specifications -- definition, metadata, 
> semantics -- makes a new resource (this lets me compare resource_new 
> to resource_old and see the difference between them unambiguously).
> With this vision, the resource can't change once it is created, even 
> to point to a new resource (you see the problem).  Is this vision just
> plain wrong, per the consensus?

Should we really focus on a "ya just never know, do ya" philosophy that hurts the majority of casual users more than it helps the specialised users? If you make up a system where you require that people manually migrate all their past statements in order to use the system in a months time then you won't be looked upon too favourably. And if you give them the choice to mass migrate their statements then what is the point if they always select "migrate all to most current versions"?

This is a very radical discussion that I don't think fits the majority of use cases that the semantic web will be applied to, as it is decidedly anti Web-2.0 where there is a constant evolution and links are relative, not static as in Web-1.0. If you really face it, meaning migrates, and the particular structure at a given instant in time isn't as relevant as the improvement in meaning anyway. If rules in the semantic web are completely reliant on data structures and unable to recognise the overall meaning that people gradually migrate towards then they are always going to be brittle, whether people are perfectly pedantic about UID's and/or URI's or whether they end up referencing everything with relative addresses which don't focus on particular representations at particular points in time.

It isn't bad to version information at significant points in time, but the archaic once-published-always-published-never-modified culture doesn't fit with electronic technologies IMO.

(Just a few thoughts :) )



Received on Tuesday, 4 November 2008 07:14:44 UTC