W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > December 2007

RE: URIs & Namespaces

From: Mike Schinkel <mikeschinkel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 01:46:54 -0500
To: "'Erik Wilde'" <dret@berkeley.edu>, <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000101c83af8$7f6d2960$0702a8c0@Guides.local>

> i am very interested in this idea of a place name vocabulary, 
> but this is just one part of what i want to do. 

It is also just a tiny part of what I want to do. 

> a) any vocabulary can reasonably assume to be complete and 
> the one everybody is using, and
> 
> b) there is one universal way of defining vocabularies that 
> works well for everybody defining them. 

Currently there already exists a universal way of defining vocabularies for
placenames; it is called Wikipedia.  Can you give me an example of a named
place that does not have a URL on Wikipedia?

What I want to accomplish is similar to Wikipedia, but with an emphasis on
the structure of the URL and relationships between places.  And at each URL
I want to see semantic HTML markup that allows anyone interested to retrieve
the information programmatically.  

Ultimately, I would see setting up a foundation to manage this as a resource
for the good of all on the web.

> so i want two degrees of separation (like xml has them).
> 
> a) namespaces allow you to specify which vocabulary you are 
> using, and they allow other to identify vocabularies known to them.
> 
> b) how a vocabulary is defined is up to the one defining it. 
> the big ones (such as getty or alexandria) have their own 
> homegrown methods, and they are unlikely to switch over to 
> something else.

Namespaces solve some problems in many contexts, and create huge problems in
others. What I envision would actually use namespaces, but if namespaces
were allowed to be infinite, we'd have the same problems we have with
namespaces in XML; it's almost impossible to associate between two
namespaces without a lots of human effort involved each time.

On the other hand, take a look at HTML 4.01.  It is highly imperfect, and
there are many cases where it does not provide an appropriate semantic
representation. Yet it is arguably the most successful format in the history
of computers. If HTML has not been the most successful format ('ASCII text'
might be that) then HTML is certainly in the top 3.  Why?  Because HTML put
a stake in the ground allowing everyone to build on top of it. Imperfect yet
widely deployed solutions beat idealized ideas every day. 

> the thing i am interested in are spaces as a social concept. 
> if i talk about "my favorite pizza place downtown", this is 
> not useful for the general public, but highly useful for 
> everybody who knows me. so what i want is an environment 
> where these social vocabularies can evolve, can be used, can 
> be matched and mapped, and all of this should be expressed in 
> web-level concepts.

What you are pursuing and want I am pursing have different goals. What I
envision can accommodate and even enable what you want, but it sounds like
you may have an ideology that disagrees with my approach.  If so, let's just
agree to disagree as debates between ideologies are rarely productive.
However if you do see my ideas as having potential merit, or if someone else
sees them as having potential merit, I'd be very interested in discussing
further, though quite possibly off list.

-- 
-Mike Schinkel
http://www.mikeschinkel.com/blogs/
http://www.welldesignedurls.org
http://atlanta-web.org 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Erik Wilde [mailto:dret@berkeley.edu] 
> Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2007 9:12 PM
> To: uri@w3.org
> Cc: Mike Schinkel
> Subject: Re: URIs & Namespaces
> 
> hello mike.
> 
> > For what it is worth, I completely agree with your thoughts 
> regarding 
> > the use of URLs to identify place names and have similar 
> interests. As 
> > a matter of fact, I've been wanting to develop a process to 
> cultivate 
> > and maintain a global list of URLs for placenames has been 
> a goal of 
> > mine for several years now.  I'd love to discuss your needs and use 
> > cases and tell you about my ideas perchance we may be able to 
> > collaborate on a mutually beneficial solution.
> 
> i am very interested in this idea of a place name vocabulary, 
> but this is just one part of what i want to do. there are 
> already huge databases of place names collected from various 
> points of interest (getty's thesaurus, the alexandria digital 
> library gazetteer), and i think that place name vocabularies 
> are important. but i doubt that
> 
> a) any vocabulary can reasonably assume to be complete and 
> the one everybody is using, and
> 
> b) there is one universal way of defining vocabularies that 
> works well for everybody defining them.
> 
> so i want two degrees of separation (like xml has them).
> 
> a) namespaces allow you to specify which vocabulary you are 
> using, and they allow other to identify vocabularies known to them.
> 
> b) how a vocabulary is defined is up to the one defining it. 
> the big ones (such as getty or alexandria) have their own 
> homegrown methods, and they are unlikely to switch over to 
> something else.
> 
> the thing i am interested in are spaces as a social concept. 
> if i talk about "my favorite pizza place downtown", this is 
> not useful for the general public, but highly useful for 
> everybody who knows me. so what i want is an environment 
> where these social vocabularies can evolve, can be used, can 
> be matched and mapped, and all of this should be expressed in 
> web-level concepts.
> 
> so, the whole application scenario and idea probably is not 
> relevant for this mailing list, but i really want to find out 
> what the general view is about having these namespace 
> concepts embedded in a uri scheme.
> 
> cheers,
> 
> dret.
Received on Monday, 10 December 2007 06:47:25 UTC

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