Re: reference needed - versioned documents

Jonathan Rees wrote:
>> You seem (?) to be presuming that one can make useful assertions only 
>> about actual documents, but I don't see the rationale for this 
>> assumption.
> Just the opposite. I'm saying the URI "owner" can and should make 
> useful statements about the named resource, but generally doesn't, and 
> without these useful statements *I* can't make useful statements about 
> what's named because I don't know what's named. I can do as many GETs 
> as I like, and I still won't know anything. The W3C's statements about 
> its TR URIs qualify as useful statements, but for the undated URI I 
> don't think they go far enough to let the the URI be a good citizen of 
> the semantic web.
> It just seems a wasted opportunity since it would be nice to be able 
> to make statements - either about what's in a document, or what it's 
> about, or what's invariant over a series of 'drafts', or about the 
> process that generates a 'draft series'. The document case is easy - 
> you can just look at the document - or would be if we had a standard 
> way to say that a URI names a document (unchanging) and if there were 
> a standard way to discover such an assurance (thus the Link header 
> discussion). The case of a changing or CN-varying document is harder 
> but commitments saying that all drafts will be about such-and-such, or 
> will have so-and-so as an author, ought to be valuable.
> Maybe not valuable enough. I would not be too bothered if authors of 
> RDF frequently determined that there was not enough value in making 
> declarative statements about changing documents to justify the effort 
> it would take to formulate or use the statements - that "resource 
> description" only pays off for unchanging documents and for 
> non-documents, and in the situation when you are privileged to be the 
> URI "owner" (since then you get to express what you mean for the URI 
> to name). If I come across RDF that seems to say something about a 
> changing document, and the URI has no published policy around what it 
> names, I think I will generally assume that the statement is probably 
> about whatever document someone saw when dereferencing that URI, and 
> I'll be even more cautious than usual since the document at that URI 
> might have changed since the RDF was written - or the URI might even 
> be meant to name a different document, or something that's not a 
> document... hmm, maybe you know what I'm talking about.

I strongly agree that the W3C should eat its own dogfood here and try to 
actually define its named resources more explicitly in RDF, all for the 
benefit of a confused world.

In this particular case, would it be reasonable to think of the resource 
named by the undated URI as an instance of Service, i.e., a system that 
provides one function, namely to return the latest version in that 
particular TR series? In that sense it provides much the same function 
as a search URI (say a Google search) - a representation of a particular 
search at the time when the service is accessed. I'm thinking about how 
to generalize from the W3C case.


> Jonathan

Received on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 19:36:28 UTC