W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > September 2004

Re: web proper names

From: Chris Purcell <cjp39@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 18:16:46 +0100
Cc: "RDFInterest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
To: "Hamish Harvey" <david.harvey@bristol.ac.uk>
Message-Id: <04095D87-0BF2-11D9-AC90-000A957B97EE@cam.ac.uk>

> My word. I'm shocked! You want excess pedantry? Pedantry is by
> definition excessive!
> Ahem. Sorry. Couldn't resist. I am, er, known for pedantry.

:) Forgiven.

>> Many existing RDF applications have the implicit assumption:
>>      for all x that can be de-referenced, <x ex:resultOfDerefencing x>
>> holds
> How is my software to know what any given x can be dereferenced, 
> without
> trying it? And if, upon trying it, my software finds that it can be
> dereferenced, I still can't distinguish between the case where the
> result is that which is indicated by the URI, and the case where the
> result describes to a human reader what it is that is indicated by the
> URI.

Quite. The assumption is a bad one. Easy to make, though.

> One man's pedantry is another's clarity? In this case it seems to me
> that the options are
> a) to create properties which instruct software to treat their object
> URIs in a non-standard way (that is, to treat them as (URI qua 
> retrieval
> path)s), introducing special cases where the object URI indicates,
> instead of what the URI indicates, the URI itself, or

There is no special case here: the only possible sense of <a 
ex:resultOfDereferencing b> is that "a is the result of dereferencing 
the URI of b". It doesn't matter what the RDF resource b represents.

There is also only one such property.

> b) to use the already available mechanism for distinguishing (URI qua
> symbol)s from (URI qua retrieval path)s: use typed literals for the
> latter.
> There's even the anyURI datatype there ready and waiting for case b.

Certainly, we *can* do that. However, it seems odd to avoid the 
standard way of specifying URIs in RDF simply to differentiate 
<retrieval paths> from <symbols> when this is unnecessary --- there is 
never any need to distinguish <symbols> from <retrieval paths>, as tthe 
latter only occurs  as the object of a resultOfDereferencing statement. 
Why not allow both typed literals and objects-with-URIs here?

It's a minor point. I'm a pedant, too.

Received on Tuesday, 21 September 2004 17:16:53 UTC

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