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RE: Yorick Wilks on Semantic Web & httpRange-14

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 12:46:24 -0400
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1337273184.2232.85991.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Hi Larry,

It's fine to archive this publicly.  (Copying public W3C archive.)
Answers below . . . 

On Thu, 2012-05-17 at 08:37 -0700, Larry Masinter wrote:
> You addressed my question, but your answer just raises more questions.
> Here's my question about URI definition discovery:
> Party A and party B both communicate with Party C using the
> "semantic web". Party A uses the URI "slithy toves" when talking
> to C, and so does Party B. Now C wants to combine the data
> sets from A and B, and realizes that perhaps A and C mean
> different things by that URI. 

Then they're screwed.  They all should have looked up the URI owner's
URI definition beforehand, to ensure that they were all using the same
URI definition.  Now let's play the scenario again, assuming that they
do . . .

> Now, somehow, you want some third party (oh, Lewis 
> Carroll, the "owner" of the URI "slithy toves") to tell you
>  the "definition" of "slithy toves"?


> So that A and B can agree on definitions? 


> So that C can
> discover what A and B meant?


The motivation is pretty much as simple as that.  The convention
certainly isn't infallible, but it doesn't have to be infallible to be


> Larry
> (mind if we archive this convo?)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Booth [mailto:david@dbooth.org] 
> Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:50 AM
> To: Larry Masinter
> Cc: Henry Story
> Subject: RE: Yorick Wilks on Semantic Web & httpRange-14
> Hi Larry,
> On Wed, 2012-05-16 at 15:27 -0700, Larry Masinter wrote:
> > But I don't see how URI "definitions" have any role either.
> > A URI (as originally constituted) was a string that contained a recipe
> > for connecting to something on the internet, using ftp, telnet, email,
> > http, or any of a number of other connection methods.
> > So where do the "definitions" come from, and how do they fit in with
> > anything?
> In the semantic web, we use URIs to denote things.  People want to be
> able to merge data such that when the same URI is used in multiple data
> sets, the same URI definition is also used for that URI, so that the
> data can be successfully merged.  This means that a convention is needed
> to enable independent parties to use the same URI definition.  That is
> the sole purpose of the idea of the "URI owner": it provides a way for
> independent parties to know which URI definition they should all use.
> None of this obligates anyone to use a particular URI definition, but
> for those who *wish* to use a common definition for a URI, a convention
> like this enables it.
> Does that address your question, or did I miss what you were getting at?

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Thursday, 17 May 2012 16:46:57 UTC

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