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RE: New issue - Meaning of URIs in RDF documents

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 08:55:51 -0500
Message-ID: <15725CF6AFE2F34DB8A5B4770B7334EE022DC5B7@hq1.pcmail.ingr.com>
To: "'Tim Berners-Lee'" <timbl@w3.org>, pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
The parts of that which stand out IMO:
1. The design has provable properties
2. URIs denote one thing to all systems that use the URI
3. Use of the term commits the user to the owner's definition 
   of the term by contract which all users share.
4. The owner of the term defines it by publishing a document 
   containing its definition at a location named by the URI.
Most of the difficulties can be uncovered and clarified by 
ensuring all understand and commit to those four assertions 
about the system.
1a.  What properties are provable and what constitutes 
proof (logical?, analogical (case-based)?)
2a.  What one "thing" is denoted?  Is this one system 
or a system of systems?  (provable properties?) (Most 
of the angst is in here.)
3a.  Is the contract established by the act? (provable 
4a.  Does this document have a type or are there 
properties of any document that can prove it is 
eligible to be a defining document?
I realize the peril of dropping back into the 
philosophical ratholes, but I think that you have 
in those four assertions covered the topics 
that are the essential glue of the system 
architecture with number two being the one
that gets most of the arguments and for which 
one either accepts the resource/representation 
abstraction or it falls apart definitionally if 
not practically.  For example, IMO, "on the web" 
is a provable property and only in the context 
of such a proof is it meaningful which is why 
I suggested the proof of observable dereferenceability 
instead of URI assignment although proof of 
URI assignment may be sufficient.
Hmmm... one doesn't have to dereference.  One 
has to prove assignment such that dereferencing 
is possible (see #4).

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Berners-Lee [mailto:timbl@w3.org]

Like with all technical specs, the fact of imperfect adherence in some cases
does not detract from the importance of having made the perfect idealistic
design which has provable properties
Currently, different logical systems can deduce different things, but the
important point is that they are talking about the same thing when they use
the same URI. 

 .. using a term does (modulo social things such as fraud and engineering
things such as broken cables) commit you to the term owner's definition of
it, and the document they publish at its URI is taken by design to be
information deemed shared by those using the term. That's the contract. 
Received on Thursday, 17 July 2003 09:55:58 UTC

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