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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: Why REST? (RE: [xml-dev] WSIO- With Name)

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Paul Prescod scripsit:

> > What is the URI of me? http://www.alaric-snell.com/ is the URI of an HTML
> > page about me, not *me*. 
> It is if you say it is and the rest of us agree.

No, Alaric's right:  http://www.alaric-snell.com is not Alaric Snell.
This is where topic maps get it right.

Let us define a subject as anything that can be talked about.  Then
subjects come in two flavors: those which are resources (with native
URIs) and those which aren't.  The W3C home page is a resource, the
W3C is not.  They have different properties and can't be blindly identified.

But what *can* be done is to use the W3C home page to *identify* the
W3C.  In topic maps jargon, the home page becomes a published subject
indicator.  Published subject indicators are all over the Web:
we can get them from official lists (like the ISO 3166 country list),
by googling, or by getting together in small groups an making them
up.  If we want a PSI for Alaric Snell, we could look to some
organization he belongs to, or use his home page as a PSI.

In RDF terms, this means that non-addressable subjects can be
represented by an RDF:Description element without an RDF:about
attribute, but with a conventional property such as xtm:subjectIndicator.
We then simply need the convention that any two RDF resources with
have at least one subjectIndicator in common are equivalent.

> > ... What is the URI of pain? 
> What do you want it to be? All we need is agreement.

Well, the word "pain" has seven senses in WordNet
(http://wordnet.cogsci.princeton.edu), of which I will arbitrarily
choose the third noun sense, the one which is synonymous with
"painful sensation"; this is pain the somatic sensation, not
emotional pain, pain as a symptom, nuisance ("pain in the neck"),
annoyance ("pain in the ass"), or either of the two verb senses.

A well-chosen PSI for this sense of "pain", then, is:

-- a little long, but usable.  Then we need a topic element which
refers to this subject indicator:

<topicmap><topic ID="pain"><subjectIndicatorRef

Now we can pretend that this whole email is a topic map, and since
the email will have an URL when it gets logged in the archives,
we will end up with a URI for painful sensation:


where blah-blah-blah won't be known until after I've finished
writing this email.

John Cowan           http://www.ccil.org/~cowan              cowan@ccil.org
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There
are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language
that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.
        --_The Hobbit_


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