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

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 12:33:18 -0500
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <CD662847-1859-480D-B327-FFB7AE514C9F@ihmc.us>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>

On Jul 2, 2009, at 10:14 PM, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:11 PM, Dan Brickley<danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
>> On 2/7/09 22:50, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>> 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 :-)
>> That's pretty much it. I somehow feel awkward when "normal" Web  
>> folk are in
>> the practice of putting URIs for their homepage and blogs into  
>> business
>> cards and email sigs, while SemWeb folk put URIs "for themselves  
>> not their
>> pages",
> Perhaps this is too clever too. Something on a business card is going
> to be typed into a browser window. Seems to me that it is perfectly
> reasonable to expect it is a bona fide web page.

Seems reasonable that when typed into a browser window, you will **get  
to see** a webpage, yes. But if I have a name on my business card,  
seems to me that the obvious assumption is that this name **refers  
to** the person. And the clever thing about this is that you can have  
it both ways, without anyone noticing. Also, BTW, if this notational  
convention about the trailing / can be made to work, then it provides  
a vastly easier way of handling the http-range-14 issue than the  
current recommended practice, one that I bet any 6-year-old could grok  
in a few minutes. A great deal of the name ambiguity on the Web seems  
to be this confusion of thing with web-document-about-thing, and if we  
could handle all of that with this simple a convention, I'm all for it.


> At this stage of the
> game, it seems to me that the proper thing is to explain on the web
> page a bit about this semweb stuff and there include a URI that
> denotes the person themselves, explaining why it's important. (if it's
> important enough to put on your business card instead of the usual
> thing, it's important enough to introduce the idea clearly on your
> home page, and probably more effective too).
> -Alan
> which are usually somewhat different and contain random different
>> punctuation like prefixing "me-as-me" to the domain name, or "#me"  
>> to the
>> end of the URI. This convention means that  - for those prepared to  
>> actually
>> buy a domain name - there is essentially one thing to remember and  
>> not two,
>> and that the "with / it's a doc, without it's a person" can be a re- 
>> usable,
>> memorable pattern.
>> cheers,
>> Dan

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Received on Friday, 3 July 2009 17:33:59 UTC

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