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Re: #rdfms-identity-anon-resources: provenance

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@Baltimore.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 12:54:30 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Brian McBride <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: rdf core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
At 10:53 AM 7/20/01 +0100, Brian McBride wrote:
>I was chatting with a colleague to day and the subject of anon resources
>and provenance came up.
>Assume I recieve the following rdf from some source SOURCE, possibly with a
>digital signature:
>   <rdf:Description>
>     <foo:bar>foobar</foo:bar>
>   </rdf:Description>
>   <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://goo">
>     <foo:bar><foobar</foo:bar>
>   </rdf:Description>
>If were to represent this in my machine as:
>   <gensym:1234> <foo:bar> "foobar" .
>   <http://goo>  <foo:bar> "foobar" .
>this is not the information that SOURCE signed - SOURCE made no assertion
>about <gensym:1234>.  We'd have to be able to distinguish between the
>gensym'd URI and the 'real' one.

Some observations:

(1) A signature is applied to some particular document or data, not to the 
information it contains or represents.

(2) Depending on the context in which the signature is applied, it conveys 
some kind of assurance about the content of the document.  It may assert 
that the information represented by the document is true.  It may convey 
some different assurance about the document.  (Joseph Reagle has some 
thoughts about this: see <http://www.w3.org/TR/xmldsig-p3p-profile/>.)

(3) Ultimately, the assurance conveyed by a signature will apply, I think, 
to the model theoretic interpretation of the information (in which, I 
assert, genid's and other identifying forms will not generally be present).


Graham Klyne                    Baltimore Technologies
Strategic Research              Content Security Group
<Graham.Klyne@Baltimore.com>    <http://www.mimesweeper.com>
Received on Friday, 20 July 2001 08:01:26 UTC

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