W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > March 2007

Re: Very rough draft of TAG finding on self-describing documents

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 23:22:26 -0500
To: "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>
Cc: "Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol)" <skw@hp.com>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, TAG mailing list <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070303042226.GF15522@mercury.ccil.org>

Booth, David (HP Software - Boston) scripsit:

> The URI http://t-d-b.org?http://dbooth.org/2005/dbooth/ names me, David
> Booth.  Since I am not an information resource according to the WebArch
> definition, :) if you dereference that URI you will get a 303 See Other
> response redirecting you to http://dbooth.org/2005/dbooth/ (in
> accordance with the TAG's httpRange-14 decision).  Dereferencing that
> second URI yields a description of me and a definition of 
> http://t-d-b.org?http://dbooth.org/2005/dbooth/ as a name for me.

Excellent!  Using textually distinguishable URIs allows RDF users to
make the Topic Maps distinction between subject identifiers (which begin
"http://t-d-b.org?") and resource identifiers (which don't)
without needing to interact with the Internet.

I would urge you to add the following text to the document at
http://dbooth.org/2005/dbooth :

	David Booth intends the URIs
	and http://t-d-b.org/?http://dbooth.org/2005/dbooth/ to be
	published subject identifiers for David Booth.

The phrase "published subject identifiers" can be linked to
http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tm-pubsubj/docs/recommendations/general_pld.htm .

> So for non-information resources, it is not the resource itself that is
> self describing, because there is no path from the non-information
> resource (me) to the information resource that describes me.  There is
> only a path from my *URI* to information that describes what that URI
> means.  I.e., it is the *URI* that is self-describing -- not the
> resource.

In a larger sense you are self-describing, though; you have published
a description of yourself and are pointing to it by means of your email.

Samuel Johnson on playing the violin:           John Cowan
"Difficult do you call it, Sir?                 cowan@ccil.org
 I wish it were impossible."                    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Received on Saturday, 3 March 2007 04:22:37 UTC

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