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"Never underestimate the power of convention!"

From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 22:14:22 -0600
Message-Id: <200204270414.g3R4EMJ04835@localhost.localdomain>
To: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
cc: Nick Matsakis <matsakis@mit.edu>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> On Wed, Apr 24, 2002 at 03:54:36PM -0400, Nick Matsakis wrote:
> > I don't understand what you mean by this.  What should the
> > "Content-Location" be on an http request for the (person)
> > http://www.markbaker.ca ?  "Sitting in his office chair" ?
> "http://www.markbaker.ca/index.html"
> Now if only I can figure out how to tell Apache to do this for me.
> mod_headers isn't granular enough.

Thanks for the pointer to info on Content-Location.  It may be a solution to 
some vexing problems the 4Suite team has had on the Web server front.

> > > Re the IBM web site, I would expect that somewhere on the order of 99%
> > > of all the back links to "http://www.ibm.com" are using it to identify
> > > the company, not the Web page.
> > 
> > I think this is a matter for debate.  People like to link to a company's
> > web sites in sentences that refer to the company, but this is purely a
> > matter of convention;
> Never underestimate the power of convention!

Indeed!  Convention is the foundation of all we hope to achieve in the RDF 
community.  We can make efforts to change convention, if need be, but this 
must be applied in the spheres in which the convention is established, not in 
our own little RDF fiefdom.

> > any human reading the setence has no problem
> > disambiguating that the link points to a website while the word (e.g.
> > "IBM") in the sentence refers to the company.
> Words like "web site" and "home page" just confuse discussions like
> this.  They're artificial.  If 99% of a large number of people say stuff
> like;
> <a href="http://www.ibm.com/">IBM</a> is a good company
> then that's sufficient to establish that "http://www.ibm.com/"
> identifies the company.  If IBM came along later and decided that
> "http://www.ibm.com/the-company" was to define the company, they'd
> have a hard time doing so because convention has already decided.
> This is a good thing.
> >  Nonetheless, what people do
> > in HTML should have negligible influence on what people do in RDF.
> I disagree strongly.  It's the use of URIs, in any context, that
> defines what they identify.

This is a *very* important point.  Though a lot of what you say has tended to 
contradict the position I had held so strongly, I'm learning a good deal about 
HTTP architecture that helps clear things up.  If we in the RDF community do 
not use URI as people expect URIs to be used, all the attraction and power of 
RDF is lost.

Uche Ogbuji                           Fourthought, Inc.
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com           http://fourthought.com
http://4Suite.org                     http://uche.ogbuji.net
Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
RDF Query using Versa - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-thi
WSDL and the Wild, Wild West - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 
Received on Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:23:41 UTC

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