Re: reference needed - versioned documents

At 2:58 PM -0400 3/31/08, Jonathan Rees wrote:
>On Mar 31, 2008, at 1:48 PM, Williams, Stuart (HP Labs, Bristol) wrote:
>>Is the answer not evident from the references is Felix Sasaki's response?
>>A "latest version" URI, which identifies the most recently 
>>published draft in a document series.
>No. Nothing tells me anything about *which* document series is involved,

er... the one all of whose drafts have the same title?

>or provides me with any invariants over the elements of the series, 
>or tells me the process by which new drafts are produced, or even 
>what the past drafts were.

You can trace this through the 'previous version' links. In fact, 
that might be the best way to define such a series: go to the latest 
version, then iterate back through the previous versions.

>So not only do I not know what the named entity *is*, I don't know 
>much about it. There's little I can say about it that will be 
>understood by someone reading what I say at an unknown future time. 
>I don't know who is going to have written whatever the "most 
>recently published draft" will be at the time my statements about it 
>are read, or what the draft will be saying, or even what the draft 
>will be about. The URI might be useful heuristically as a hyperlink 
>("see xxx to see a most recently published draft of the zzz working 
>group's spec... probably") but I don't see how it's useful as a name 
>to be used in discourse (e.g. RDF).

Well, we can make some assertions about it, such as that its a W3C TR 
'draft series', and it was begun on a certain date, and its the 
product of a certain WG, and so on.

>If I do some detective work I may be able to figure out invariants 
>such as the series's subject matter or working group affiliation 
>(and the WG's charter), and if I do a *lot* of detective work I 
>might find some piece of email or some minutes that say how the URI 
>is going to be used, but before I get to that point I will have 
>decided that it's not worth the effort to try to use or understand 
>that URI.

Why is this URi any worse in this respect than, say, the URI which 
identifies the Working Group itself?

>If I'm unfortunate enough to find that someone else has used it in 
>communication with me, then I'll have to make assumptions (e.g. that 
>the draft they were talking about is close enough to the one I see) 
>or enter into dialog with them (which draft are you talking about? 
>or what invariants do you know about the series that I don't know?) 
>or attempt to verify what they say (since it is probably very easy 
>to be wrong in making statements about things like this).

You seem (?) to be presuming that one can make useful assertions only 
about actual documents, but I don't see the rationale for this 



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Received on Monday, 31 March 2008 20:49:13 UTC