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URI declaration [was Re: Subjects as Literals]

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 23:39:16 -0400
To: Henry Story <henry.story@gmail.com>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1279337956.31321.199.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Fri, 2010-07-09 at 08:45 +0200, Henry Story wrote: 
> On 8 Jul 2010, at 20:30, David Booth wrote:
> > On Thu, 2010-07-08 at 11:03 -0500, Pat Hayes wrote:
> >> On Jul 6, 2010, at 9:23 PM, David Booth wrote:
> >> 
> >>> On Tue, 2010-07-06 at 20:45 +0200, Henry Story wrote:
> >>> [ . . . ]
> >>>> foaf:knows a rdf:Property .
> >>>> 
> >>>> Well we can dereference foaf:knows to find out what it means. This is
> >>>> the canonical way to find it's meaning, and is the initial  
> >>>> procedure we
> >>>> should use to arbitrate between competing understandings of its  
> >>>> meaning.
> >>> 
> >>> Right.  The document you get upon dereferencing -- the "follow your
> >>> nose" document -- acts as a URI declaration.[1]
> >>> 
> >>> 1. http://dbooth.org/2007/uri-decl/
> >> 
> >> Just to clarify, that is David's idea and his suggestion. It seems  
> >> like a sensible idea, in many ways. It seems to reflect some current  
> >> practice. But it is not part of the current RDF spec., and it is  
> >> controversial.
> > 
> > No, it was not my idea.  I cannot claim any credit for it.  The idea was
> > already around and in fairly common practice (though not universal) when
> > I first wrote it up in 2007.  I do not know who came up with it.  All I
> > did was write it up, give it a descriptive name "URI declaration" (so
> > that we could all refer to it more easily), and promote it.
> The general idea is widely accepted, but the interpretation using speech
> acts is certainly original and controversial.

True, that particular explanation of how URI declaration works was my
idea.  But I'm not sure that that particular explanation is even needed
anyway.  In some sense the whole idea of a speech act is a convenient
simplification of reality, or a useful fiction.  What really matters is
that the community *believes* that publishing and using URI declarations
is the "right" way to do things (i.e., the preferred way, or best
practice), and acts accordingly, and this is happening already.

> There is also an issue that one can imagine conventions arising in other
> ways too btw...

Yes, that can happen.  That can lead to what I've been calling the
"competing definitions" approach to establishing URI resource identity,
and this paper on "Why URI Declarations? A comparison of architectural
approaches" explains why it is architecturally inferior to the URI
declarations approach:

The section of "The URI Lifecycle in Semantic Web Architecture" on
"community expropriation" of a URI proposes guidelines for how to handle
that situation when it happens:

David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Saturday, 17 July 2010 03:39:44 UTC

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