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Re: comments on Web Architecture First Edition

From: Graham Klyne <gk@ninebynine.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 18:58:20 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

At 11:58 19/03/04 -0600, Pat Hayes wrote:
>Distinguish resource (D) from web resource (C); or possibly, use a more 
>conventional terminology by using 'entity' rather than 'resource' for 
>anything referred to (D) and reserve 'resource' for the C sense;
>Distinguish 'refer'  (reference, etc) (D) from 'identify' (C). This 
>conforms with established usage in linguistic and logical semantics, and 
>in programming language terminology, respectively. Then for example one of 
>the current debates about 'bare URI' meanings in RDF could be 
>characterized as a debate about the relationship between reference and 
>identification of such URIs, and Tim BL's position could be characterized 
>as the view that reference should not diverge from identification when 
>there is something identified, so that the (undisputed, 
>architecture-mandated) thing identified by (identifyee?) a URL, ie a web 
>resource located by HTTP protocols, should be required to be the referent 
>of that URL when it is used to refer (sense D). This way of expressing the 
>matter clarifies the issues somewhat, it seems to me. I would anticipate 
>that most of the document would be about identification rather than 
>reference, which seems quite appropriate for an architectural description.
>Is that any help?

Yes, I think so.

But it would maybe require some terminological upheaval (e.g. is a URI 
primarily an *identifier*, as its name would suggest?  Not as far as RDF is 
concerned).  I suppose, though, if the distinction can and should be drawn 
anywhere, it's in the architecture document.  There's also a very different 
distinction between "identifier" and "reference" that TimBL has 
articulated, giving rise to URI vs URI-reference.

(I think that, in addition to a glossary, a short introduction to the 
concepts here --Description vs Computation-- which can explain something of 
the other side to computation-oriented developers could be helpful.)

Anyway, I'm not the person you have to convince here.  I'd be happy to see 
the terminology clarified along these lines to give us well-defined ways of 
talking about the various concepts at work, as long as many people will use 
it consistently, but others may be more resistant.


Graham Klyne
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Received on Monday, 22 March 2004 04:20:39 UTC

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