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RE: "On the Web" vs "On the Semantic Web" (was Re: resources and URIs)

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 13:59:00 -0500
Message-ID: <15725CF6AFE2F34DB8A5B4770B7334EE022DC5C3@hq1.pcmail.ingr.com>
To: "'Tim Bray'" <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

If I have to use the term "interface" yes; if I think of 
an RDF document naming a resource or representation as 
'just another document' on the web, no and yes.  A 
document can cite a document can cite a document and 
all that changes is the handler (machine, human, whatever).

A URI is just a name.  If resolvable, that is a property 
of the system using names of that kind.  The web does that 
because it uses URIs to denote locations (say what we 
will about resources and hypertext servers, that is 
what we use it for:  a mapping to an address, a classic 
hypertext link).  What is at the address is irrelevant 
to it being an address.  It is relevant to persistence 
policies for users of specific URIs.  So the architecture 
has a 'best practice' about assigning and maintaining 
the addresses of important information even if by indirect 

The web names links to locations.  The SW links names to 
other names.  These are the same kind of name being used 
for different jobs.  So what?  Systems require provable 
properties and what is provable in one system does not 
have to be provable in another.  They can share a syntax 
for labels.  The only provable property is that of the 
syntax of the name but insofar as it is meaningful, "it's 
in the way that you use it". The nut is that a URI denotes 
one an only one "thing" and that isn't always true if there are two
system definitions at work.  It is true by definition in 
the web system.  It may or may not be true in RDF or any 
other means of assigning names to abstract resources. 

This attempts to crack two different kinds of nuts and expects the 
same meat to be found in both.  Won't happen.  Maybe we should 
quit cracking our own nuts trying.


From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com]

Michael Mealling wrote:

> In my 'layered' view, the SW is a layer above the web, and as such a SW
> 'resource' contains at its heart, a Web resource. You _could_ think of
> it this way: it's the same object with multiple interfaces, the
> Uri-Resource view found in 2396 being the equivalent of an IUnknown
> interface (just without the ability to query for  the other
> interfaces)'. As you go up the layers you end up with more available
> interfaces to pick from....

I have a lot of sympathy with this world-view.  Is there anyone who 
really doesn't like it?
Received on Thursday, 17 July 2003 14:59:31 UTC

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