ISSUE-30: What is the definition of rif:uri?

What is the definition of rif:uri?

Technical Design (multiple dialects/documents)
Raised by:
Deborah Nichols
Opened on:
Issue: What is the definition of rif:uri?
Raised by: Deborah Nichols, on behalf of the RIF WG Chairs

Issue: What is the definition of rif:uri?
Raised by: Deborah Nichols, on behalf of the RIF WG Chairs

At F2F5 on 27 Feb 2007, the RIF WG resolved that \"Any sort defined in Core MUST
BE identified by a URI\" (List of Resolutions, Specifically, rif:uri will be
used to identify sorts in RIF. Questions as to how rif:uri should be defined
led to an extended discussion. In order not to delay the completion of the RIF
Core Design, definition of the placeholder \"rif:uri\" was postponed until a
later date. The F2F minutes (
contain the original discussion.

The 20 March 2007 RIF WG telecom again discussed how to define rif:uri
minutes.html). Jos de Bruijn pointed out that, although \"it seems that a URI
in RIF is the same as the XML schema data type anyUri, this is not the case.
We do not want URI to be interpreted as themselves but instead as individuals
in some particular domain. [Thus, ]... we have to characterize the syntactical
class of uri.\"

But complications arose due to a combination of syntactic and semantic
considerations, including how to handle local sorts; whether to disallow URI
strings of the same form to denote both sorts and individuals; and whether to
define rif:uri in reference to W3 URI or IRI. From the perspective of RDF, URIs
denote resources (cf. XML), while rif:uri\'s are syntactically specified strings
for denoting individuals (including predicates). Dave Reynolds
( observed
that Issue 30 evolved from a concern about URIs as sorts to discussion of
syntactical interpretations.

Several relevant email discussions followed the 20 March telecom; see the
threads begun at and The
second email thread above concluded with Dave Reynolds\' suggestion that the RIF
Core WD refer to IRIs rather than URIs, and proposed language for the Core

At the 10 April 2007 telecom, the Chair stated that a definition of rif:uri was
needed to replace the RIF Core design document\'s pointer to the open issue
(30). Jos described rif:uri as \"a sort, an IRI written in normal form [with]
no additional semantic commitments [and to which] dialects may introduce
additional restrictions.\" It was suggested to use the language proposed in
Dave\'s email to resolve the issue (
rif-wg/2007Mar/0133.html). Dave\'s text addressed syntax, normalization, and
changing URI to IRI. The WG debated pros and cons of using URI vs. IRI. Chris
Welty proposed a compromise, to modify the first sentence of Dave\'s proposed
text to refer to both URI and IRI: \"Symbols of this sort have the
form \"XYZ\"^^rif:uri, where XYZ is a URI as specified in RFC 3986 (or an IRI as
specified in RFC 3987).\" (

A week was allowed before voting. Email during the intervening week discussed
the relation between URI and IRI:

At the 17 April telecom, the WG accepted the following resolution:
RESOLVED: Change rif:uri to rif:iri for now, we can discuss level of
indirection and change it later if there\'s consensus on a new name (closing
Issue 30)

Issue 30 was thereby closed.

1. Michael K was tasked to change the wording of the WD to reflect that:
ACTION: mkifer to change URI to IRI and rif:uri to rif:iri in [recorded in].
2. Note: Additional proposed text related to IRIs did not reach consensus in
email and was never elevated to the WG (see
Related Actions Items:
No related actions
Related emails:
No related emails

Related notes:

Closed 2007-04017 11:15, with resolution to use IRIs

17 Apr 2007, 00:00:00

For discussion, see minutes of the following RIF WG meetings:
1. F2F5 (;
2. Telecom 20 March 2007 (
3. Telecom 10 April 2007 (
4. Telecom 17 April 2007 (

And see also the following email threads:

29 May 2007, 00:00:00

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