W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2001

Re: URIs / URLs

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 12:50:20 -0500
To: Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>, RDF Interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, RDF Logic <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B6F8B0CF.8CD7%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr> wrote:

> There is a recurring debate on both RDF lists about URIs, what they
> mean, and how some problems with RDF come from problems with them.

I think the major confusion in this document is the mistaken belief that a
network entity is the same as the resource. As in this passage:

    Uniform Resource Identifiers or URIs [1,3] have first been designed to
    offer a global and uniform mechanism to identify network accessible
    resources. More recently, the will to achieve the Semantic Web [2], and
    more particularly the Resource Description Framework (RDF) [11] made it
    a base vocabulary to describe not only network accessible resources, but
    any resource. 

Resources were technically never "network accessible" -- only renderings of
them into formats that can be transferred over the network. True, XML can
probably represent pretty close to (if not actually) 100% of the actual
content of a resource, but this is still merely an electronic rendition of
an abstract ideal.

The same is true with namespaces, people, etc. I cannot send a "namespace"
over the wire, but I can send an XSchema or a RDDL description. I cannot
send myself, but I can send a textual description or a picture.

This seems to be a major source of confusion.

[ Aaron Swartz | me@aaronsw.com | http://www.aaronsw.com ]
Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2001 13:50:41 UTC

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