W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > June 2001

Re: #rdfms-difference-between-ID-and-about (every document is in the Web)

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 22:43:09 -0500
Message-Id: <200106210345.f5L3juQ09879@theinfo.org>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
To: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
On Wednesday, June 20, 2001, at 06:13  PM, pat hayes wrote:

>> > The fact that something can have a URI (and anything can, 
>> right?) doesn't
>> > mean that it's got one.
>> Suppose I say that it does. There's no argument to
>> refute me, is there?
> Well, I can refute you to my own satisfaction just by looking 
> around my office at the books on the shelves.

Really? Looking at all the books on my shelves I notice that 
they all have URIs. In fact, most of them are kind enough to 
print it on the back of the book -- why here's one now:


Oh, you mean my copy? Why it's at:


> Whereas I *know* that some email messsages don't have a URI.

No you don't. You can't show me anything that doesn't have a URI.

>> Alas, it's true that a lot of folks think of the Web
>> as HTTP+HTML. They speak of "the Web or email or ftp"
>> when they should say "HTTP or email or ftp, all of which
>> are part of the Web." The telephone system is also
>> part of The Web, as is IRC etc.
> The web uses the phone system, but it does not include it. I do 
> actually speak on the phone from time to time.

And thus you're speaking over the Web, no? The Web is the set of 
things that have a URI. Your telephone has one, see the tel: 

>> But meanwhile, the 10 year history of the Web
>> is evidence that this axiom is useful; can we agree that
>> for the purposes of the RDF spec, every document is in the Web?
> No, we cannot. I refuse to accept as an axiom something that I 
> know to be false and, moreover, I know to be false because I 
> can make it false in a few seconds by writing something with a 
> pen on a piece of paper.

How can you show that it is false? You simply cannot show me 
something that does not have a URI.

[ "Aaron Swartz" ; <mailto:me@aaronsw.com> ; <http://www.aaronsw.com/> ]
Received on Wednesday, 20 June 2001 23:43:13 UTC

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