Re: does RDF require understanding all 82 URI schemes?

Ralph R. Swick writes:

 > At the present time, the XML language specifications do not
 > endorse any use of a namespace URI other than string
 > comparison with other namespace URIs.  The RDF designers
 > asserted from the beginning that we wanted to use URIs to
 > their fullest , not just as strings to be compared.  That is, RDF
 > _expects_ that any URI can be presented to the Web for resolution.

Clearly, it hasn't worked -- this is the part of RDF that most needs
to be changed in any future revision of the spec, if Tim B-L can be
persuaded to abandon his well-entrenched position on this issue.

If URIs (especially resource identifiers) can be resolved, then one
particular set of statements -- the RDF document the URI resolves to
-- is always going to be priviledged over the other statements about
the same resource/entity/object/topic/frame/thing.

If the so-called semantic web has any value at all, it's in the
plurality of voices: *anyone* should be able to make statements about
David Bowie, the W3C, Alabama, or Structuralism, no one's statements
should be privileged, and all parties should be able to use the same
identifier in doing so.  RDF isn't DNS.

 > I acknowledge that, strictly speaking, opacity and concatenation
 > are in conflict.

My objections above aside, under the current state of the RDF-Syntax
spec, it is not possible to write robust, interoperable software
because of the concatenation of the Namespace URI with the local name
-- this is a pragmatic engineering problem, not an abstract one.

All the best,


David Megginson       

Received on Monday, 12 February 2001 08:40:31 UTC