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Re: Fwd: backronym proposal: Universal Resource Linker

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 15:19:07 -0400
Message-ID: <4BCB5B2B.2010208@openlinksw.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, public-lod <public-lod@w3.org>
Dan Brickley wrote:
> So - I'm serious. The term 'URI' has never really worked as something
> most Web users encounter and understand.
> For RDF, SemWeb and linked data efforts, this is a problem as our data
> model is built around URIs.
> If 'URL' can be brought back from limbo as a credible technical term,
> and rebranded around the concept of 'linkage', I think it'll go a long
> way towards explaining what we're up to with RDF.
> Thoughts?

Entity (Data Object, Data Item) Descriptor Documents reside at 
locations/addresses (URLs).  The "Resource" conflation is a nightmare 
since is purer Semantic Web parlance I would frame my first sentence as:

Resource Descriptor Documents reside at locations/addresses, and the 
"Referents" of these documents are "Resources" that are "Identified" 
using HTTP scheme based "Identifiers" as "Names".

Henry Story has done a phenomenal job of sticking to URLs when 
explaining FOAF+SSL, the "Referent" comes into scope via the Descriptor 
Document (e.g., FOAF Profile) rather than the other way round.

To simply decide we drop "URL" from the Web's vocabulary is yet another 
huge mistake IMHO. Another major crack in the whole "comprehension pot" 
re. Linked Data and related matters.

When you look at OData and GData what do you see in reality? IMHO.  
Descriptor Documents constructed using Atom Feed Formats with varying 
degrees of fidelity re. delineation between the actual Descriptor 
Document and its Referent(s).  Thus, in the worst case you end up in a 
situation where OData and GData folks (via constructive communications 
with these communities) only need to address EAV fidelity rather than 
overhaul their efforts entirely (which is what RDF the format ultimately 

> Dan
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
> Date: Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 11:52 AM
> Subject: backronym proposal: Universal Resource Linker
> To: uri@w3.org
> Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
> I'll keep this short. The official term for Web identifiers, URI,
> isn't widely known or understood. The I18N-friendly variant IRI
> confuses many (are we all supposed to migrate to use it; or just in
> our specs?), while the most widely used, understood and (for many)
> easiest to pronounce, 'URL' (for Uniform Resource Locator) has been
> relegated to 'archaic form' status. At the slightest provocation this
> community dissapears down the rathole of URI-versus-URN, and until
> this all settles down we are left with an uncomfortable disconnect
> between how those in-the-know talk about Web identifiers, and those
> many others who merely use it.
> As of yesterday, I've been asked "but what is a URI?" one too many
> times. I propose a simple-minded fix: restore 'URL' as the most
> general term for Web identifiers, and re-interpret 'URL' as "Universal
> Resource Linker". Most people won't care, but if they investigate,
> they'll find out about the re-naming. This approach avoids URN vs URI
> kinds of distinction, scores 2 out of 3 for use of intelligible words,
> and is equally appropriate to classic browser/HTML, SemWeb and other
> technical uses. What's not to like? The Web is all about links, and
> urls are how we make them...
> cheers,
> Dan



Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen 
Received on Sunday, 18 April 2010 19:19:35 UTC

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