W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2003

Re: erratum Re: resources and URIs

From: Michael Day <mikeday@yeslogic.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 18:24:57 +1000 (EST)
To: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0307221817450.32191-100000@lorien.yeslogic.com>


> >To continue your postman example, the postal system is the web, the
> >mailing address is the URI, and the thing that sends/receives letters is
> >the resource.

Okay, how about a better analogy: the telephone system! The telephone
system is the web, the phone number is the URI, the thing that calls and
receives calls is the resource.

The resource could be a person, or an automated system, or who knows what,
but its precise nature does not matter to the telephone system. This is
perhaps a better analogy than the postal system, given its electronic
nature. (Consider the speaking clock, and weather hotlines, and so on).

> I honestly think that most of the SW is not going to be concerned 
> directly with Webbish matters at all. It mostly going to be about 
> things like money, dates, contracts, people, boring everyday business 
> stuff. To the extent that it does get involved with senders and 
> receives it is going to be terribly strict and fussy about its terms 
> and getting them right, but that's just the nature of the beast: 
> formal ontologies do get strict and fussy about defining everything.

Hmm, but then what makes it the semantic *web* rather than an inferencing
system or ontology language? Why is the W3C involved? What does this have
to do with HTTP? Why are we even having this discussion? :)

Incidentally, it is interesting to reconsider the example of identifying
galaxies by URI in the light of the phone system, and consider identifying
them by phone number (technically already possible with tel: URIs).

You can do it, and the phone system / web won't care, but if you try to
describe it using RDF and say tel:555-1234 is 100 million light years away
it seems quite confusing.

Michael

-- 
YesLogic Prince prints XML!
http://yeslogic.com
Received on Tuesday, 22 July 2003 04:22:30 UTC

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