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

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 09:00:56 -0500
Message-ID: <3B35F298.44586C8D@w3.org>
To: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
CC: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
pat hayes wrote:
> >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.

Again: *for the purposes of the RDF spec*. The thing
you write with a pen on a piece of paper is not in
scope of the RDF spec. Unless you happen to be scribbling
RDF on a piece of paper; but even then, if you regard
it as an RDF document, I'm asking that you agree
that it has a URI.

The reason is that this is the way the XML specs work.
There are two coherent designs:
	(a) an XML document's base URI is intrinsic
	to that document. We speak of "the base URI
	of a document." If you copy some <stuff/> from
	one place in the Web to another, the result
	is a different XML document.

	(b) an XML document may be paired with a base URI,
	but that base URI isn't intrinsic to a document.
	The same <stuff/> appearing at different addresses
	in the Web is the very same XML document.

The XML specs (XPath first, I believe, then Infoset, schema,
etc.) use design (a). Since the choice is arbitrary,
as far as I can tell, it would be silly for RDF to try
to use (b).

[I'd rather not continue, in this forum,
the philosophical discussion
about which things have names and which things
can have names etc. Sorry I started it.]

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Sunday, 24 June 2001 10:00:59 UTC

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