Re: infoURI standard officially blessed

From: David Karger <>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 00:12:39 -0500

Matthew Cockerill wrote:

> "Sure it's useful as identification but completely useless for
> discovery as I wouldn't know how to ask for more info about that URI."
> Yep - it's a floor polish, but most definitely is not a dessert topping.
> From the Info URI FAQ:
> "
> Q. Why are info URIs non-dereferenceable?
> A. info is focused exclusively on supporting identity [...]
> "

This above Q&A suggests that the whole info uri concept may be self
defeating, because identity isn't "supported"---it just is. Consider
the following scenario. Alice registers the info:alice/* namespace and
makes some URIs. Bob then makes statements about those uris that alice
disagrees with. Even worse, Bob, without consulting alice, makes up an
info:alice/bob uri to talk about himself, and starts making statements
about it. How exactly has the "registration" of the info:alice
namespace helped? It certainly doesn't prevent bob from using the uris
in that namespace.

I would like to raise the conjecture that namespace registration ONLY
makes sense in situations where the names can be dereferenced, and in
particular dereferenced under the control of the namespace owner. In
such systems, the owner can effectively prevent bob from acting on the
names. For example, the owner of a dns name can prevent anyone else
from binding that name to a value. But absent dereference, the owner of
the name has no control.

With RDF, I think the traditional notion of deciding which _names_ to
trust based on registrations will need to be replaced by decisions about
which _statements_ to trust based on who is serving those statements.
Received on Thu Nov 17 2005 - 05:06:36 EST

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