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Re: AW: Distributed querying on the semantic web

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 08:33:31 +0100
Message-ID: <408623CB.4070202@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: leo@gnowsis.com, www-rdf-interest@w3.org

Leo Sauermann:
>>I would recommend that you are only allowed to make up URLs using
>>domains you own!
Peter F. Patel-Schneider:
> I recommend otherwise.  There are many good reasons to use URI references
> that are not know to have been used before and that are not in domains that
> I own.  

I tend to agree with Peter, but perhaps for different reasons.

A problem is that different domains have radically different policies for 
allocating their URI space. So for instance, I can make up URIs starting
http://lists.w3.org fairly easily, and place defining information in a HTTP 
retrievable fashion; but the exact policies are fairly distinctive to the 
W3C list server. I do not own the domain.

Another issue is the impossibility of distinguishing comment about a URI 
from a definition of the URI. (A natural language dictionary can be seen as 
playing either rule, websters or the Oxford English Dictionary do not own 
the words they describe, but they get to be about as authoritative as 

In the wordnet example, Peter said:

 > I would like to say something about
 > a word that is not in WordNet (yet).  Why should I not be
 > able to use a URI reference like http://realwordnet.org/#Bushism?

this seems to presuppose a context where Peter is trusting the community to 
  continue with the (supposed) convention that
http://realwordnet.org/# + EnglishWord
is a URI for that word. Since this supposed convention is initiated by the 
supposed owners of realwordnet.org; Peter is trusting those people in 
particular. Thus I see this example as more a case of the owners of the 
domain name do get to decide; but can and should be presupposed to be 
behaving according to social norms (e.g. a modicum of rationality - that's 
very dangerous!)

Received on Wednesday, 21 April 2004 03:40:11 UTC

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