Re: URIs / URLs

Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <> 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 | | ]

Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2001 13:50:41 UTC