You're trying to DefineYourTerms, but you can see that PushTheDefinition doesn't scale. So what do you do?

Alice: There's this guy, "Charlie".  (his blog: http://blogs.example.com/charlie.)

Bob: Oh!   Wow, interesting character.   Do you like him?!

Grant: I've heard about him.  You might want to talk to Harry about him.

Ivan: I actually went to High School with him.  He was okay.


You don't need to include the full definition, or even a complete description, just a URL which readers can use to find out more. In some case (like this example), the URL serves both to disambiguate "Charlie" and to offer more information. Those could be separated:

Disambiguation via URI

Alice: There's this guy, "Charlie".  (He used to have a blog at
       http://blogs.example.com/charlie, but it's gone now and not
       in any of the web archives or caches I can find.)

Information without Disambiguation

Alice: There's this guy, "Charlie".  He uses http://blogs.example.com
       but I'm not sure which user he is there.

That information may seem useless, but it greatly narrows down the possible interpretations of "Charlie".


There are several ways to support PullTheDefinition in RDF:

HashURI Style:

Alice talks about <http://www.alice.example.com/folks#Charlie>

where http://www.alice.example.com/folks offers RDF/XML saying where his blog is.

SlashRedirection Style:

Alice talks about <http://www.alice.example.com/folks/Charlie>

where http://www.alice.example.com/folks/Charlie gives a "303 See Other" redirect to some place which offers RDF/XML saying where Charlie's blog is.

IsDefinedBy Style:

Alice talks about <tag:alice@example.com,2003-06-05:Charlie> and also says:

<tag:alice@example.com,2003-06-05:Charlie> rdfs:isDefinedBy <http://www.alice.example.com/folks>.


As an RDF consumer, can you assume every HTTP URI you see used in RDF can be dereferenced to find the definition? Does every use of an HTTP URI delegate definitional authority to the referenced site? There is no consensus on this. See NamespaceDistortion and FollowLinksForMoreInformation.

If Alice says:

<http://www.alice.example.com/folks#Charlie> hair:color hair:Blonde

while http://www.alice.example.com/folks says

<http://www.alice.example.com/folks#Charlie> hair:color hair:Black

then what should we conclude? It's not clear.

To what extent can Alice assume that folks will pull the definition? If she really wants to tell people that Charlie is six feet tall, can she just put that in the definition (linked by one of the above methods) or must she include it in every message?


Please put comments down here please, in PPR:ThreadMode

Last modified on 14 December 2004, at 06:22