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CODE4LIB  April 2009

CODE4LIB April 2009

Subject:

Re: points of failure (was Re: [CODE4LIB] resolution and identification )

From:

Alexander Johannesen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 3 Apr 2009 11:07:09 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (44 lines)

On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 10:44, Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Going back to someone's point about living in the real
> world (sorry, I forget who), the Inconvenient Truth is that 90% of
> programs and 99% of users, on seeing an http: URL, will try to treat
> it as a link.  They don't know any better.

What on earth is this about? URIs *are* links; its in its design, it's
what its supposed to be. Don't design systems where they are treated
any differently. Again we're seeing that "all we need are URIs" poor
judgement of SemWeb enthusiasts muddling the waters. The short of it
is, if you're using URIs as identifiers, having the choice to
dereference it is a *feature*; if it resolves to 404 then tough (and
I'd say you designed your system poorly), but if it resolves to an
information snippet about the semantic meaning of that URI, they yay.
This is how us Topic Mappers see this whole debacle and flaw in the
SemWeb structure, and we call it Public Subject Indicators, where
"Public" means it resolves to something (just like WikiPedia URIs
resolve to some text that explains what it is representing),
"Subjects" are anything in the world (but distinct from Topics which
are software representations), and "Indicators" as they indicate
(rather than absolutely identify) things.

In other words, if you use URIs as identifiers (which is a *good*
thing), then resolvability is a feature to be promoted, not something
to be shunned. If you can't make good systems design, use URNs. You
can treat URI identifiers as both identifiers and subject indicators,
while URNs are evil.

> Let's make our identifiers look like identifiers.

What does that even mean? :)

> (By the way, note that this is NOT what I was saying back at the start
> of the thread.  This means that I have -- *gasp* -- changed my mind!
> Is this a first on the Internet?  :-)

Maybe, but it surely will be the last ...


Alex
-- 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic Maps
------------------------------------------ http://shelter.nu/blog/ --------

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