W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > October 2000

Re: theory and practice (Re: URIs for Physical Items)

From: Michael Mealling <michael@bailey.dscga.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 13:32:03 -0400
To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Cc: michaelm@netsol.com, "'uri@w3.org'" <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20001027133203.J10992@bailey.dscga.com>
On Fri, Oct 27, 2000 at 01:29:27PM -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> At 12:47 PM 10/27/00 -0400, Michael Mealling wrote:
> >I'm curious though, what's your preferred solution? I disagree that there's
> >a problem but I'm curious what your solution to your problem might look like?
> 
> I'm not sure it's a solution that you'd be fond of, but there are two parts.

You'd be suprised.....

> 1) Start publishing in plain English on why URIs are a good thing, 
>      including examples that work.  Document the infrastructure(s)
>      surrounding URIs and differentiate between different types of
>      URIs and their 'proper' usage.  (To some extent, this means 
>      documenting the understandings shared in the core community which
>      haven't been made explicit in documents like RFC 2396.)

Yep. I hope this is what the URI activity will end up doing. My concern
here is there are two 'camps'. There are those who think that
you should never use specific subsets of URIs. I really disagree with
this since there are times when the thing you are trying to do (name
an XML namespace, identify message bodies in SMTP messages) can
only allow a certain scheme(s) of URI to be used. I think this
can be argued in the URI activity pretty well but it might be
painful. 

Touching 2396 is really painful (although a good bit of concensus has come
out lately). I think the path should be a new document that isn't 
intended to be a standards document where we hash this stuff out "in
plain English". IMHO, hte biggest problem we'll have here is the
idea that Dan has that you can and should do everything with the
http scheme (IMNSHO, this is silly).

> 2) Consider an infrastructure for providing metadata and perhaps 
>      'resolution' to an entity body which can be applied to all URIs,
>      regardless of schema.  In a strong sense, this is all about 
>      metadata, and even the entity body can be considered a perverse
>      form of metadata for URIs.

Umm... this sounds like the DDDS infrastructure to me. I may be
projecting but have you read:
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-ddds-02.txt
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-uri-res-ddds-01.txt
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-urn-dns-ddds-database-01.txt

That's the solution we came up with for that specific problem. Once you
know the authoritative way to find out metadata about the URI you
then use something like RESCAP to ask for little snippets of standardized
RDF that can tell you fairly complicated things about the URI, the thing 
it identifies, or the relationship between th two.

One thing I think we will need in the future is a compact way of
passing those snippets around. Maybe its a special URI scheme or
something wholly seperate, I don't know. I've always thought that
including one URI in another was a hack but if you do it explicitly
and according to set rules it could make sense....

> I know that you said:
> >We don't build big huge infrastructures. We come up with itty bitty
> >pieces and let communities take thsoe and build them into something useful
> >to them.
> 
> While I value the chaotic approach, I haven't seen any attempt to balance
> that chaos with infrastructure (or even documentation) that developers can
> walk up to and figure out.  'itty bitty pieces' backed up with theory that
> doesn't play well outside of a core community doesn't seem like a recipe
> for success to me.

I'll be the first to admit that we market like shit. IMHO the main
reason is that only now are people starting to realize they need 
more than just an identifier. We knew that back then but no one cared
because they were more interested in getting their porn off of an FTP server.
Now they care but they're wanting a solution and we're just now getting
them educated on the discussions we already had. 

> Too many developers don't have control over the documents they have to
> process. In that situation, some kind of supporting infrastructure would be
> very helpful, and would remove a lot of the fear and loathing currently
> involved with URIs.

Can you give me some specific scenarios?

-MM

-- 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Mealling	|      Vote Libertarian!       | www.rwhois.net/michael
Sr. Research Engineer   |   www.ga.lp.org/gwinnett     | ICQ#:         14198821
Network Solutions	|          www.lp.org          |  michaelm@netsol.com
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 13:42:23 UTC

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