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Re: URIs, used in RDF, that do not have associated documentation

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 10:55:22 -0500
Cc: トーレ エリクソン <tore.eriksson@po.rd.taisho.co.jp>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, www-tag@w3.org, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Message-Id: <28E9A413-4025-48ED-911D-AC70038C4B8C@ihmc.us>
To: Tore Eriksson <tore.eriksson@gmail.com>

On Apr 1, 2012, at 4:46 AM, Tore Eriksson wrote:

>> On Mar 30, 2012, at 7:24 PM, トーレ エリクソン wrote:
>>> <rant>My problem is that people assume that the default case is that the
>>> HTML document "resides" (I don't know a better word, hope you understand
>>> what I mean) on the other end of the wire, when it might just exist
>>> locally through the octet stream.</rant>
> 2012/4/1 Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>:
>> <rant> My problem is that some people are incredibly sensitive to things like the piddling difference between a document versus a byte stream, when at the same time they are quite happy to treat them as being in the same category as galaxies and dead Roman emperors and Platonic abstractions. There ought to be a name for this, we could call it http tunnel vision: a condition where everything in every possible universe looks like a very small piece of network architecture. </rant>
> Excuse me for being a piddling pedant with tunnel vision

It was meant to be lighthearted. Sorry if it came across as an attack (Email is dangerous, of course.) 

> , but I though
> we *were* discussing how network architecture affects RDF. The RDF and
> the HTTP universes are, by design, very similar.

I profoundly disagree. The HTTP universe, if it can be said to have one, consists of byte streams, response codes and endpoints. The RDF universe consists of everything that can be referred to by a name, i.e. everything. 

> Neither cares what a
> resource *is*. They leave that part to the user. If the distinction
> between galaxies and documents is that important, then why doesn't the
> RDF specification mention it? Instead it defines a class for all
> resource that can be mapped to a unicode string.

Named by a unicode string, not mapped to it. 

> Literals are there to
> solve an important technical problem when serializing RDF.

Not when serializing. They are there to fix classes of referents. The difference between "1" and "1"^^xsd:integer has to do with what those character sequences denote. 

> Likewise,
> octet streams are an essential part of HTTP. A lot of people, even in
> this forum, mixes up "1" and "1"^^xsd:integer. This doesn't matter
> most of the time, but I suspect it would bother you (it bothers me) if
> people make this mistake when discussing RDF semantics.

Yes, quite. It doesn't matter most of the time in HTTP, because HTTP does not concern itself with what messages denote. It matters a lot in RDF because RDF is concerned with that. Without that concern, in fact, there would be very little point in having RDF at all. 

> Representations/octet streams are not just a very small piece of HTTP
> architecture, they are the messages in a message passing protocol.

No doubt. But HTTP does not concern itself with what these messages are *about*. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying it should. After all, it is a transfer protocol, not an ontology language. Which is exactly my point. 


> Tore

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Received on Sunday, 1 April 2012 15:55:57 UTC

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