W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-uri@w3.org > May 2000

Re: Syntax and semantics

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 18:54:15 -0400
Message-ID: <00dc01bfc093$4552c100$b0ec5c8b@ridge.w3.org>
To: <xml-uri@w3.org>, "Jonathan Robie" <Jonathan.Robie@SoftwareAG-USA.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Robie <Jonathan.Robie@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
[...]
>Also, I think it is important to recognize that the semantics of a
>transaction may include a number of things not defined or even explicitly
>known by the parties at the time, such as the governing law,  including
>legal precedent.
[...]
> In all likelihood, neither you nor I know a fraction of the laws and
>regulations that govern the sale of that notebook, but each of these
>defines semantics relevant to our exchange.


However, I would not call those things which neither party knows
part of the semantics of the message.  They are the semantics
of laws.  When I say "I want to buy that book" you can argue that
laws contribute directly or indirectly to the notion of "buy".
They may be part of that wealth of associations which defines for
each of us a faily stable definition of "buy". But the laws are not
the intent of the message. The intent of the message is that I
want to buy the book.

>Making this information explicit and accessible is a difficult problem.


You never can. Don't try.  But when I have a web browser and I buy
something from your web site, there is meaning in the form I filled in.

>Fortunately, I don't think we need to solve it in order to determine the
>name of an element or an attribute. I *do* think that we need to ensure
>that our naming method supports globally unique, persistent identifiers so
>that many systems can use the same names without ambiguity or clash.
>
>Jonathan
>
Received on Thursday, 18 May 2000 02:33:33 UTC

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