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Re: Fwd: backronym proposal: Universal Resource Linker

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 15:36:30 -0400
Message-ID: <4BCB5F3E.9020505@openlinksw.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
CC: nathan@webr3.org, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, public-lod <public-lod@w3.org>
Dan Brickley wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 3:42 PM, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
>> Wonder what would happen if we just called them "Links"?
> I think that would confuse people. And would put stress just on the
> point where SemWeb and HTML notions of link diverge.
> An HTML page can have two (hyper-)links, <a href="/contactus/">contact
> us</a> in the header, and <a href="/contactus/">contacts</a> in the
> footer. Each of those chunks of markup is what we informally call a
> link; the relative URI reference inside the href attribute in both
> cases is what makes it possible for the link to be useful. I'm saying
> that http://example.com/contactus/ should be called a 'universal
> resource linker' instead of 'uniform resource locator'. Using
> 'universal resource link' for that instead has a different grammatical
> role and could confuse since the page has two links (the bits that go
> blue in your browser usually), but they both point to the same

Why do we need to change what a "URL" is? Education is a hard lengthy 
and generally arduous process etc..

We simply need to build a bridge from where we are to where we are 
headed using coherent terms etc..

A URL today enables you to locate a Generic Document (it may have a 
myriad of purposes).

What comes next are Descriptor Documents accessible via URLs that have 
the sole purpose of exposing a Structured Description of an Entity (Data 
Object, Data Item, Datum).

URLs don't go away, they just provide us with access to "purpose 
specific documents".

>> Seems to be pretty unambiguous, if I say "Link" to TimBL or my Mum they
>> both know what I mean, and it appears to produce the desired mental
>> picture when used.
> There are two usages at least with link; 'pass me the link' versus
> 'click on the link'; the latter emphasises the occurance as being the
> link.
We can "Refer To" and Entity or access its Structured Description via a 
LINK when we construct a Descriptor Document using the EAV Data Model.

>> Link, short for HyperLink - Link as in Linked Data.
>> Keep the URI/URL/IRI for those who need to know the exact syntax of a Link.
> So when the RDF perspective comes in, so do subtly different notions
> of link. This is why I think framing 'link' as a countable thing will
> lead to confusion. RDF links are a bit like relationships; so <a
> href="http://bob.example.com/" rel="xfn:coworker xfn:buddy">Bob</a> is
> a link expressing two relationships, er, links. If you poke to hard at
> the magic word "link" it kinda crumbles a bit. But it remains
> incredible evocative and at the heart of both the Web and the SemWeb.
> Linker is non-commital enough that allows a family of related
> readings; where the markup describes a pre-existing link/relationship
> (eg. co-worker), and where markup itself is the link we're interested
> in.
> If you check back to Timbl's original diagram in
> http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html the different flavours of
> 'link' were in there from the start; 'wrote' and 'refers to' for
> example; the former links a person to a document; the later connects
> documents. So the linking story here is that identifiers for people
> and documents can share a notation, and become linkable. What exactly
> a link is, on the other hand, I think will always be a little bit
> slippery.

Not slippery if we take this moment in time to apply some metaphorical 
sand-paper :-)

Yes, <http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html> this document is 
much clearer than the latest incarnation of the Linked Data meme IMHO.  
Descriptor Documents are clearly visible in the early TimBL document, 
for sure! The next step should have really been about, what constitutes 
the Descriptor Document such that machines and humans can respectively 
exploit these Descriptor Documents. Again, the answer 
is/was/should-have-been: EAV Data Model.

> 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 19:37:02 UTC

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