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RE: Review of "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web"

From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) <skw@hp.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 10:26:16 +0100
Message-ID: <C4B3FB61F7970A4391A5C10BAA1C3F0DD346BE@sdcexc04.emea.cpqcorp.net>
To: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>, <www-tag@w3.org>
Cc: "Leo Sauermann" <leo.sauermann@dfki.de>

Hello David, Leo,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) 
> Sent: 28 August 2007 19:53
> To: www-tag@w3.org; Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)
> Cc: Leo Sauermann
> Subject: RE: Review of "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web"
> I missed Stuart's review of this "Cool URIs" document 
> http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~sauermann/2006/11/cooluris/
> when I was away on vacation, but recently saw reference to it 
> and wanted to comment on one statement.
> > From: Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) [ . . . ] wrt "Be on the 
> > web": "Given only a URI, machines and people should be able to 
> > retrieve a description about this URI from the web. ..."  This is a 
> > little too loose, in that the description is not about the URI but 
> > about the resource to which the URI refers.
> > [ . . . ]
> While I assume that the above statement reflects the TAG's 
> accepted thinking on this topic to date, I think it is 
> actually somewhat incorrect, and the original phrasing by the 
> Cool URIs authors was actually better.

Actually I stand by the comment that I made, though I think David is
reading more into the intent of the comment than was intended.

The original text spoke of description of a URI. Taken literally, there
is very little of interest to describe of a URI: one might say to what
scheme it belongs; one might parse out the authority, path, query and
fragment components; one might be interested in how long it is. There is
little more to say of the URI itself. However, I don't think it was the
authors intent to encourage such descriptions. I believe it more the
case that the authors intended that the thing to be described is the
resource to which the URI is intended to be used to refer. That at least
is the spirit in which the comment was made.

On the subject of your concept of "URI declarations" I have not thought
long and hard enough to comment in substance. That a given description
is obtained directly or indirectly (via redirection) from a retrieval
initiated using a given URI might afford that description some special
status in the 'eye' of an agent processing it. However, I think that
there are provenance and trust issues wrt to any description obtained
that affect would in general affect an agents disposition to believe a
given description. Some skeptisim on the part of the agent is probably
required regardless of source, if it is to be robust in an open world.


> David Booth, Ph.D.
> HP Software
> +1 617 629 8881 office  |  dbooth@hp.com
> http://www.hp.com/go/software
> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not 
> represent the official views of HP unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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Received on Wednesday, 29 August 2007 09:29:29 UTC

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