Linked Data Platform ISSUE-20: What is the base URI of a POSTed document?

The Linked Data Platform working group has a use
case to be able to create an resource within an container (with both the
resource and the container described in RDF) <1.3.8 UC-BPC2: Create resource
within a container
resource_within_a_container> >. The intention is to HTTP POST an RDF
representation, including the subordinate resource, to the container URI. 


The issue boils down to 'what is the base URI of a POSTed document.?' 

Consider the following cases (assuming @base is not embedded in the


A) The base URI is the notional base of the communicated RDF document:

In Turtle, URIs in angle brackets may be base relative URIs, so '<>' is the
base URI itself.


<> a foaf:PersonalProfileDocument;

       foaf:primaryTopic <#me> .


B) The base URI is the request URI used in the POST (the container URI):

This approach requires the container to Skolemize the anonymous resource
(See <>).


<> rdfs:member [

      a helios_bt:BugtrackerIssue;

      dc:identifier "58365"



I would have used the same example, but since (in this interpretation) the
URI of the resource isn't known until it is created, we would have to make
assertions about #me in a separate step.

Of course, in this case, the use of the document base '<>' is optional; the
URI of the container is known at the time of the request. But this doesn't
really answer the question.


The Relevant Standard:

RFC 3986: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax

5.1.  Establishing a Base URI: The base URI of a reference can be
established in one of four ways:

1. Base URI embedded in Content.

2. Base URI of the encapsulating entity. "If no base URI is embedded, the
base URI of a document is defined by the document's retrieval context."

3. URI used to retrieve the entity. "if a URI was used to retrieve the base
document, that URI shall be considered the base URI."

4. Default Base URI (application-dependent)


However, as a POSTed resource has no real retrieval context it appears to
drop right through levels 2 and 3, leaving us with an application dependent

In a linked data context one might then ask , "if a URI _were-_ used to
retrieve the base document, that URI shall be considered the base URI." In
that case (A) is the most natural solution.



Steve Battle
Semantic Engineer

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Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:11:00 UTC