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Re: Comments on draft "baseline" httprange-14 replacement

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 20:54:47 +0000
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: Jonathan A Rees <rees@mumble.net>, www-tag <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f5bk43l9o4o.fsf@calexico.inf.ed.ac.uk>
David Booth writes:

> Review of: http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/uddp/

>  - As pointed out by multiple people, the document strays
> into the murky tar pit of talking about the "meaning" of
> a URI.  This is a major tactical error.  It is unnecessary,
> and IMO reflects a persistent misunderstanding of semantic web
> architecture (which never should have been called "semantic"
> in the first place, as that term has led to no end of confusion
> and misconception).  Regarding "meaning" the rule should be
> simple: DON'T GO THERE.

But the document has to use _some_ word in the place it currently uses
'meaning', doesn't it?  Seems to me _whatever_ word is used will raise
hackles in some quarters, so the present approach, which uses it and
then (in section 7) explicitly foregrounds the difficulties attendent
on doing so, is the best that can be done.

>  - The document invents cumbersome terminology
> in an effort to be precise, rather than using well-established
> existing terms and clarifying those terms where necessary.
> This makes the document hard to read.

I think this is a judgement call, and I think trying to start, in the
areas closest to the difficulties we've had with the httpRange-14
discussion, with intentionally verbose formulations that demand to be
understood only per the explicit definitions provided, is the right
thing to do.

The problem with the well-established terms is that virtually all of
them are vulnerable to what we might call spurious agreement -- every
reader believes they understand them, but their understandings are not
consistent with one anothers'.

       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
                Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                       URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
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Received on Friday, 17 February 2012 20:55:36 UTC

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