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Re: Q to implementers: Resource identifiers - XML Names and/or(concatenated) URIs? (was RE: rdfs.isDefinedBy...)

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:53:15 +0300
To: <jeremy@jeremygray.ca>, "'ext Thomas B. Passin'" <tpassin@comcast.net>, RDF Interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B92E463B.16AD6%patrick.stickler@nokia.com>

On 2002-06-12 19:41, "ext Jeremy Gray" <jeremy@jeremygray.ca> wrote:

>> <soapbox>
>> We will never be able to fully reconcile qnames and URIs, nor
>> should we even bother to try. All we need to do is respect the
>> full structure and semantics of qnames in our RDF/XML
>> serialization, and only use URIs in such serializations to
>> denote resources.
>> </soapbox>
> While I can certainly understand how you might reach such a position, I have
> to disagree with it. If you want RDF applications to only ever integrate
> with, benefit from, and provide benefit to other RDF applications, then by
> all means your soapbox position is workable. On the other hand, if you want
> widespread adoption of RDF on the internet at large you're going to need to
> leverage existing investments in XML and other web technologies. RDF is not
> capable of doing this without mechanisms that can consistently rationalize
> more of the internet's identifiers.
> Jeremy Gray

I think that we are very much in agreement. My reasons for being
pessimistic about reconciling qnames and URIs is due to the
fact that they have different levels of resolution. You will
always have a loss of information going from qname to URI because
URIs have no concept of namespace prefix/local name structure
nor context within an XML instance (nor should they).

However, it hopefully will be possible to still reconcile the worlds
of XML and RDF without having to reconcile qnames and URIs. One
possible means to do that is to use URIs which capture the structure
and context of qnames.

C.f. http://ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-pstickler-qname-01.txt

One nit, though. I don't consider qnames to be either internet or web
identifiers. They are XML identifiers and XML is only one of many
content encodings. The internet and web should remain as encoding
neutral as possible, and URIs are the only identifier model for
the web, and as such, has higher status than qnames.

This is not to start some kind of holy war between URIs and qnames,
but only to point out that qnames live in a smaller scope
than the web, and therefore we should not be surprised if
standards and technologies which take the web as their domain
(e.g. RDF) do not constrain themselves to the scope of qnames.


Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
Nokia Research Center         Email: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Thursday, 13 June 2002 05:49:04 UTC

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