Re: Proposal to amend the httpRange-14 resolution

Hi Tim,

thank you for your detailed input. I'll add my comments inline.

2012/3/26 Tim Berners-Lee <>:
> On 2012-03 -26, at 01:31, トーレ エリクソン wrote:
>>>> This proposal entails a partial reversion of the httpRange-14
>>>> resolution. Specifically, it suggests that a representation retrieved
>>>> from a HTTP URI will never* be equivalent to what the URI denotes (the
>>>> resource), but will always be a description (of the state) of the
>>>> resource, eliminating the risk of confusing a resource with its
>>>> description.
> [...]
>> However, if you don't own the URI, stating this seems to irresponsible.
>> The owner might add a content-negotiated Swedish translation with a
>> dc:title of "Hittad" and make your statement invalid.
> That is hair-splitting -- yes, a generic IR URI may indeed by correspond to
> a series of more specific versions in different languages
> (See and the associated ontology)
> and one can argue whether people incorrectly actually use
> one title to refer to the whole lot, but I think it is useful.

I have no problem with adding the title to the generic resource,
especially if you own the URI. My understanding of Jonathan's text was
though that by looking at one representation titled "Trouvee", one
could infer that all representations would have the same title. The
basis for this seems to be that all representations should have a set
of shared properties. They might have, but I can't write an algorithm
to prove that this is the case. In your work with the Tabulator, I
assume that you encountered many examples where representation titles
weren't appropriately matched to the resource. Do you think that the
URI owner was doing something wrong then?

If the URI owner thinks that his resource has the title "Trouvee", why
not wait for him to define this in RDF?
 <http://example/hen> dc:title "Trouvee", "Hittad"@sv .
Our work should be to encourage such behavior, not adding our own,
implicit semantics to resources we don't know what they denote.
- Show quoted text -
The first time I saw meta data using RDF it was applied not on web
pages but on HTML documents. I would like to continue adding license
and other information to HTML pages, but it seems like your vision of
the web doesn't allow me to - all descriptions has to be assigned to
the resource serving the web page. Above you talk about web pages and
documents as if they are the same thing. In my opinion they are
fundamentally different - they are resources and representations, one
is an abstract concept and the other a sequence of octets. Of course
the RDF statements should be able to talk about web pages, but just by
looking at the documents served you can't tell if it is a web page or
not, however much that would help bootstrapping the semantic web.

> If I say
> <#i>  con:likes <>.
> Do you really mean that I can't do that unless we get the Gutenberg people
> to put a statement on the web page to the effect that the the URI
> in fact in RDF can be used to refer to the web page rather than the whale?

Of course you can, it's an open world and you are free to state that
you like any URI. However, before you do so - are you sure what it is
you throw your affections at? Accessing the URI, I have no idea what
this URI denotes. As a human, I can make an educated guess. Looking at
the interface, it seems that we are looking at page 11 of a digital
edition of Moby Dick. Do you like page 11? Or do you like the poem on
top of the page? Since it gives a 200 response I could also guess that
you like the web page, maybe the retro design.... But what if you turn
stylesheets off - do you still like the page?

> Yes, for some, the documents, in particular in their own large semantic web system
> are much less interesting than their titles.  But it is arrogant for us to
> build a new system which breaks the use for RDF for web pages.
> So I have proposed a header which the semantic people can put on their
> response to show that *they* are using the new architecture.
> It means that anyone who bookmarks a page like that has to be careful,
> as they could end up liking the wrong thing -- a serial killer rather than a
> well-written page about a serial killer perhaps.

This risk has been with us since the beginning. The semantic web
finally gives us the tools to fix this problem. I don't see how
forcing all documents to represent "information resource" helps this
endeavor though.

>> The argumentation of httpRange-14 and [1] is an attempt to
>> justify this behaviour, saying that your interpretation supersedes that
>> of the URI owner. I works when the owner doesn't care about his
>> resource, but it fails badly when he does. That is why I think we should
>> deprecate this usage to clear the way for real, user-served RDF. Thus,
>> the effect sure is disruptive, but in a positive way!
> Well, if you eliminate the availability of all the other pages
> out there to be mentioned in RDF, the that is IMHO a massive step back.

Mention away. Let's just be careful not to pollute the semantic web
with trivial and ungrounded RDF descriptions though.


Tore Eriksson

Received on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 00:02:18 UTC