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Subject: Re: [tm-pubsubj-comment] Supporting the semantic web

At 01:22 PM 4/26/2002 +0200, Lars Marius Garshol wrote:

>I had an interesting discussion with Eric Miller yesterday on IRC
>about published subjects and their possible use in a semantic web
>context. He hoped published subjects could be used there as well, but
>listed three specific concerns that he thought were important for the
>success of PSs:
>   (1) That the organizations currently responsible for making
>       identifying codes for subjects/resources should themselves take
>       over the responsibility for maintaining the published subject
>       sets based on their code sets.
>   (2) The issue of what published subject identifiers resolve to, and
>       whether that is machine-readable or not.
>   (3) That stability of published subject identifiers could be
>       achieved and, as far as possible, guaranteed through the right
>       technical and political measures.

To clarify this a bit... my assertion is that the adoption and use of of 
published subject identifiers is a in part a matter of the social and 
organizational commitments associated with making these identifiers 
available and persistent.   Technical solutions that facilitate the naming 
of these subjects independent of their location facilitate this persistence 
(e.g. PURLs http://purl.org/) but the biggest problems are not technical.

>We discussed these issues back and forth a little, and basically
>agreed that they were all key issues, and I said that I thought Eric
>and the TC would be likely to agree on (1) and (3), but that (2) might
>be harder.

If (1) and (3) are agreed by this group, this a good start :)

>I managed to persuade him to join the list, so what I would most like
>to see right now would be for Eric to explain in more detail what he
>sees as the requirements for (2) and (3). For example, what
>information does Eric think needs to be at the end of PS URI? Also,
>what are the actual requirements behind (3)?

Some of the requirements around (3) are stated above.  I think if this 
group could help craft such a persistence policy for others to support this 
would be a important step.  I'm thinking something similar to 
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Persistence and 
http://www.w3.org/1999/10/nsuri but tailored to the specifics of this 
groups needs.  Regarding technical tools that help implement such policies, 
I have a strong preference for PURLs but then again I also have a bias :)

Regarding (2) I also have a bias (hah you thought I was going to say RDF 
didn't you :), the bias is for something that works for as many communities 
as possible that wants to take advantage of these controlled vocabularies 
(sorry... the term Public Subjects to me is a bit of a 
misnomer).  Regarding the RDF and XTM communities, I'm still confused now 
and again about the specifics, but it seems clear that the goals are quite 

I'll send some additional specifics associated with (2) in a follow up 

eric miller                              http://www.w3.org/people/em/
semantic web activity lead               http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/
w3c world wide web consortium            http://www.w3.org/

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