W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > April 2010

Re: its name

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2010 05:59:48 +0200
Message-ID: <o2s1f2ed5cd1004072059k2e6d9c19ma105c689e16a58b0@mail.gmail.com>
To: Alexander Johannesen <alexander.johannesen@gmail.com>
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On 8 April 2010 05:11, Alexander Johannesen
<alexander.johannesen@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 12:45, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com> wrote:
>> People can learn can learn things like "TV" (without having a full
>> grasp of electromagnetic theory) or even "ADSL" (and you know the
>> rest).
>
> Yes, it's relatively easy to teach people things when you've got a
> simple moniker (TV, ADSL, website) attached to something they care
> about (people wants moving pictures at home, they want internet at
> home, they want to browse websites). But going from "a website" to "a
> specific resource with a specific protocol" is dead in the water.

Making a mountain out of a mole hill there, imho.

"The Web" has already come to mean something pretty well unimaginable
say 50 years ago.

I believe people have been able to distinguish documents from things
ever since documents were invented. I can't see why it shouldn't be
possible to tap into a 50,000 year old meme.

>>> Huh? Richard Dawkins?
>> Yup, him.
>
> What's the problem with him?

He annoys me the way he argues stuff. I am effectively an atheist, but
his approach makes me want to run & hide in a church.

>>> I think you've got too much faith in the human capability of grasping
>>> something they don't care about.
>>
>> People didn't care about tv until they saw something that manifested the name.
>
> Huh? People didn't care about TV until they cared about TV. The name
> is also different in different languages, just like a car (which is
> short for 'automobile cart', or, in Norwegian, 'bil' which is the last
> bit of 'automobile'). This discussion is slowly going from memes to
> lingustics.

Ok. And people used to have to walk in front of cars with a red flag.


>> Would you agree that a URI is a name for a thing? How is that so
>> conceptually more difficult than ordering a pizza?
>
> Well, for starts, I don't agree humanly. Technically we're in
> agreement, of course, but as a human being that's probably a few steps
> away from knowing jack about REST or HTTP(S) or other protocols, I'd
> say two things ;
>
>  - a website
>  - a web page
>
> The latter is the human form of a resource with a http(s) URI address.
> I don't think there's a better way.

why not a thing with a name?

Ok, I'm not altogether sure it's possible with the current
terminology, Resource is so overloaded, but Thing seems fairly clean.
But I don't think you have to talk about the leap to protocols - we
already have millions of people behaving in conformance to those
protocols.

>> I take your point about caring about stuff, but we're wasting our time
>> if we don't think we're doing something that people might care about.
>> Or doing a PhD. mileage varies.
>
> But people *don't* care about this, only technologists do. People care
> about websites and web pages, but they don't care about the protocol,

There is a difference between the wire protocol and the human protocol.

The human one is clearly the one that matters, and the difference
between a thing and a piece of paper that talks about it is pretty
significant, and obvious. Most of the Web has the piece of paper
model, but that's not to say people have.

> and, personally, I think that if we were to collectively try to remedy
> this situation we'll do more harm than good. Let the generations of
> technological literacy do it for you, because this is akin to fighting
> windmills.

Which generations of technological literacy would they be, without
someone to put this stuff under people's noses?

Cheers,
Danny.

-- 
http://danny.ayers.name
Received on Thursday, 8 April 2010 04:00:21 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Tuesday, 5 July 2022 08:45:17 UTC