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Proposal for fragment identifiers in RDF

From: Graham Klyne <GK@NineByNine.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 14:37:22 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: RDF core WG <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
At Brian's request [3]:

Proposed:  That fragment identifiers, when used with RDF, are treated as a 
simple extension of the URI to which they apply, without having an 
interpretation that is in any way dependent on the context in which they 
appear.  (It is recognized that this may not be entirely consistent with 
the way fragment identifiers are treated when used in conjunction with Web 
document retrieval, but that seems inevitable because RDF statements must, 
in general, stand independently of the MIME content-type of any 
representation of any resources that they describe.)

This proposal reflects the fact that there is no special treatment of the 
fragment identifier part of URIrefs in the model theory for RDF -- that is, 
they are simply a syntactic part of a name that denotes some resource.

In general, URIs without fragment identifiers used in RDF will be 
considered to correspond [[[in some way???]]] to the same URI used for 
normal Web document retrieval.

[[[Hmmm, this gets into use/mention territory, and maybe needs to invoke 
Larry Masinters tdb ("that described by") URI scheme, which distinguishes 
between the document named by a URI, and some thing that is described by a 
document named by a URI.  What *do* we mean when we use the URI of a web 
page that describes (say) a person.  Maybe, like literals, it depends on 
the definition/interpretation of the property used?]]]

[[[Musing some more... it now seems to me that there is nothing in RDF that 
requires the denotation of a URI to have any relationship with the Web 
document (if any) obtained by dereferencing that URI.  Indeed, that would 
seem to be consistent with the model theory:  there's nothing in the 
definition of an interpretation that requires there to be any relationship 
at all between the denotation of a URIref and the Web document accessed by 
that URIref.  Any such relationship would appear to be purely coincidental.]]]

[[[Finally, I'll note that this seems to have some parallels with a TAG 
discussion about the interpretation of namespace URIs [1,2].]]]


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2002Feb/0093.html

[2] http://www.textuality.com/tag/Issue8.html

[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-rdfcore-wg/2002Feb/0311.html

Graham Klyne
Received on Wednesday, 20 February 2002 09:59:26 UTC

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