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RE: Semantic Web Hackings


> > Theoretically, the only person who could modify that file is the person
> > who "owns" that web space.
> In my opinion, ownership of "Webspace" is not as clearly defined as
> ownership of mailboxes.

But an email address is like a black hole. You can send all the messages you
want to it but you're not guaranteed a reply. An http URI, on the other
hand, is worthless if you can't download the resource it identifies. (Unless
we're talking about namespaces, of course. ;-)

> > This gives a person an actual place to stick their assertions that the
> rest
> > of the world can query using today's technology.
> Yes, that's the whole point! But then you have that assertion, you need it
> to say <Description about="me">, and I am suggesting that we use our email
> addresses as an identifier for "me".

I guess the crux of my question is this: Where are you going to put the RDF
document that contains <rdf:Description

If you're uploading it to some sort of central server that would incoporate
it into one big model that we could query against, then I think using
mailto's as URIs would be appropriate. (Although I don't think that a
centralized solution is very practical. I'd rather see it distributed much
like the web, itself.)

If, however, you're hosting it in your own web space, how is the rest of the
world supposed to find it? They not only need to know your URI
(mailto:sean@mysterylights.com) but also the URL where they can retrieve the
RDF document that describes your URI.

If I wanted to say that I know you within my description, I would include a
property like this: <foaf:knows
rdf:resource="mailto:sean@mysterylights.com"/>. Without your
rdf:Description, though, I can't make any inferences about you. Using your
gender example, what if I wanted a tally of all my male and female friends?
Somehow, I'd need to let my engine know where to find the description for
your URI and all of my other friends. Do we reify those statements and say
that the objects' descriptions could be found at the appropriate URLs? Yuck.

If your URI was your RDF file, I could refer to it and incorporate it into
my model quite easily, no? Instead of <rdf:Description
about="mailto:sean@mysterylights.com"> you could use <rdf:Description
about=""> which would expand the "" to the URL where the RDF file was
located (as specified in RFC 2396).