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Re: Can "http://danbri.org" and "http://danbri.org/" URIs represent different things?

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 15:50:20 -0500
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <BAEDF768-8616-41EB-AFDD-2469AF345365@ihmc.us>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>

On Jul 2, 2009, at 3:42 PM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:54 PM, Dan Brickley<danbri@danbri.org>  
> wrote:
>> Hello TAG,
>> Talking with some SW folk about OpenID, and whether my "me-the- 
>> person" URI
>> could be practically usable as my OpenID, I came up with this  
>> corner-case:
>> Could http://danbri.org be a URI for "me the person", and http://danbri.org/
>> be a document about me (and also serve as my OpenID)?
>> As I understand HTTP, any client must request something, so the  
>> former isn't
>> directly de-referencable. The client has to decide to ask for / from
>> danbri.org instead. But they're still different URIs, aren't they?
>> Is...
>> <Person  xmlns:foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1"/
>>         rdf:about="http://danbri.org">
>>  <openid>
>>    <Document rdf:about="http://danbri.org/"/>
>>  </openid>
>> </Person>
>> ...at all feasible? I guess it depends on how exactly we think  
>> about the
>> "add a / to the end" step...
>> From an RDF point of view the URI strings are different means that
> they can denote different things.
> I guess the question I have about this is: Why be so "clever"?

I think I can answer that. Because people are. In fact, people use the  
same name for a person and the person's website and the person's name,  
etc., often without even noticing that they are doing it, and  
certainly without falling into instant incoherence or having their  
brains catch fire. But our inference engines can't handle this kind of  
ambiguity, at present. So it would be handy if a notational convention  
could be adopted that allowed the dumb machinery to keep its prissy  
distinctions distinct, while allowing human readers to be sloppy  
without even noticing that they are being sloppy. This idea is an  
elegant step in that direction, if it can be made to work.

This might not be danbri's motivation, but it is why the idea appeals  
to me :-)


> -Alan

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Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 20:51:03 UTC

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