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Re: Owning URIs (Was: Yet Another LOD cloud browser)

From: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 23:19:38 -0700
Message-ID: <4A13A0FA.3050006@alum.mit.edu>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
CC: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> David Huynh wrote:
>> Sherman Monroe wrote:
>>>     To be more specific, these days a news reporter can say
>>>     "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" on TV and expect that to mean
>>>     something to most of the audience. That's a marvel. Something more
>>>     than just the string "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" is
>>>     transfered. It's the expectation that if anyone in the audience
>>>     were to type "foobar.com <http://foobar.com>" into any web
>>>     browser, then they would be seeing information served by the
>>>     authority associated with some topic or entity called "foobar" as
>>>     socially defined. And 99% of the audience would be seeing the same
>>>     information. What's the equivalent or analogous of that on the SW?
>>> I just want to make sure the analogies are aligned properly and are 
>>> salient. The WWW contains only nouns (no sentences). If I have an 
>>> interest or service I want to share with others, then I post a 
>>> webpage and /share its URL/ with you. In the SW, things are centered 
>>> around the crowd, if I have something to say about the an interest, 
>>> service, place, person, etc, then I /reference its URL/ in my 
>>> statements. So the SW contains sentences that can be browsed. Type 
>>> the URL in the WWW browser, you get /the thing /being shared. Type 
>>> the URI in the SW browser, you get the /things people say about the 
>>> thing/.
>> I didn't quite express myself clearly. If you were to take the 
>> previous sentence ("I didn't quite express myself clearly"), and 
>> encode it in RDF, what would you get? It certainly is something that 
>> I said about "the thing", the thing being vaguely what I tried to 
>> explain before (how do you mint a URI for that?). The point is that 
>> using RDF or whatever other non-natural language structured data 
>> representation, you cannot practically represent "the things people 
>> say about the thing" in the majority of real-life cases. You can only 
>> express a very tiny subset of what can be said in natural language. 
>> This affects how people conceptualize and use this medium. If I hear 
>> a URI on TV, would I be motivated enough to type it into some browser 
>> when what I get back looks like an engineering spec sheet, but 
>> worse--with different rows from different sources, forcing me to 
>> derive the big picture myself,
>>    urn:sdajfdadjfai324829083742983:sherman_monroe
>>       name: Sherman Monroe (according to foo.com)
>>       age: __ (according to bar.com)
>>       age: ___ (according to bar2.com)
>>       nationality: __ (according to baz.com)
>>       ...
>> rather than, say, a natural language essay that conveys a coherent 
>> opinion, or a funny video?
>> David
> David,
> When you see a URI (a URL is a URI to me) on the TV, or hear one 
> mentioned on the TV or Radio, you now have the option to interact with 
> a variety of representations associated with the aforementioned Thing 
> identified by the URI. You have representational choices that didn't 
> exist until now. Choice is inherently optional :-)
Beware the paradox of choices :-)


> A URI by definition cannot presuppose representation. This is the 
> heart of the matter.
> The Semantic Web Project isn't about a new Web distinct from the 
> ubiquitous World Wide Web. I think that sentiment and thinking faded a 
> long time ago.
> If you are used to seeing a nice looking HTML based Web Page when you 
> place URIs in a browser or click on them,  then there's nothing wrong 
> with that, always interact with a Web resource using the 
> representation that best suits the kind of interaction at hand. Thus, 
> someone else may want to know what data was contextualized by the nice 
> looking HTML representation (the data behind and around the page), and 
> on that basis seek a different representation via the same URI that 
> unveils the kind descriptive granularity delivered by an 
> Entity-Attribute-Value graph (e.g., RDF).
> The revolution is about choice via negotiated representations in a 
> manner that's unobtrusive to the Web in its current form.  Nobody has 
> to change how they use the Web, we are just adding options to an 
> evolving medium.
> You've forced my hand, I need to make a movie once and for all :-)
It's not forcing, just nudging :) It'll be a win for all.

Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 06:20:49 UTC

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