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Re: Proposal to amend the "httpRange-14 resolution"

From: Mo McRoberts <mo.mcroberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 02:05:33 +0000
Message-Id: <D1074A94-47F8-435F-BF0D-46507D491F3A@bbc.co.uk>
To: www-tag@w3.org
As a brief follow-up to the previous message, a couple of points:—

The document “Understanding URI Hosting Practice as Support for URI Documentation Discovery” is as written one which nobody who is perceived to be hindered by the httpRange-14 issue will ever read. Even the title is massively off-putting.

More pressingly, however, it appears be to be written to answer the question “how can I tell, given a representation, whether the URI I had refers to a thing, or the document describing that thing?” — this is a question which crosses problem domains, and I’m not convinced is the actual problem at all. Maybe I've misunderstood the document; it is rather unwieldy.

The answer to that specific question is “interpret the assertions associated with the requested URI”; they might be false, but that applies to any assertions on the Web. QED. After all, this is all focussed on the naming of things which have machine-readable descriptions; it’s not up to the name nor the HTTP response to make that distinction. We don’t have well-defined mechanisms to distinguish by name whether something is a cat or a dog, after all, even if we might have individual conventions about how we might name them.

The actual question is: ”as a publisher, how can I name resources such that consumers of my data can differentiate between my descriptions of documents, representations, and NIRs while also allowing the descriptions of my NIRs to be retrieved by derefrencing the URIs I assign to them?”

It’s this question which most looking to httpRange-14 — and subsequent discussions — have sought an answer to, what the functioning of linked data is predicated upon, and so this is what my proposal was written to answer, albeit in rather rough form.

Given that, I'd suggest a new title of “Guidance for linked data publishers: Choosing URIs”.

Further, the premise for this exercise seems to be the notion that both 303-based redirects nor hash-URIs have horrible fatal flaws which make them unworkable, when it's not all that clear that this is the case (particularly in the case of hash URIs, the criticisms at http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/awwsw/issue57/20120202/#hash seem pretty weak from a linked data consumer’s perspective, all told).

M.

-- 
Mo McRoberts - Technical Lead - The Space,
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Received on Thursday, 1 March 2012 02:05:57 UTC

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