This is a cyclic problem, and i’m not sure of my comprehension of all the stuff involved…
But it’s interesting to see what someone else is saying about it in these days..

So, there are three main posts that have attracted my attention:

-> URI crisis solved!
-> uri crisis - what do URIs identify?
-> Meaningfull URIs

Some quotes:

So we don’t have good uris to identify people, concepts, books, etc. Because a Uri has more than one meaning.

One point seems clear. In using URLs to identify concepts (such as “http://x.org/love“), we need conventions for denoting each of these four things: name, concept, Web location and document instance.

perhaps, and perhaps thats the way it works: you explicitly say to identify the concepts you have in your mind using the URI you find most approapriate. When other humans copy your behaviour (and copy/paste your uri), URIs will identify concepts. Hm, perhaps.

While thinking about the right way to encode RDF generated from our Semantic Wikipedia I happened to stumble in the URI crises again. For Wikipedia, we solved it more or less, but not in general. The general solution is even simpler: URIs are symbols, RFD is the grammar (s-p-o). The meaning of URIs is completely depending on the social process around them.[…]

Now let’s relax and create a quick and easy social convention to mint URIs for things and web pages. We need them!

There are two more complex point of view: one is this…

Leo said: ‘The social thing has to be identical to the RDF thing, so different URIs in the browser and for RDF are somewhat hindering.’

What is the an RDF thing? A resource, identified by a URIref and described with RDF properties? What is a social thing? A name with some shared understanding attached? What is a browser? A tool to render web pages for given URLs?

Given this, the social thing ‘Dog’ could be identified by a URI, e.g. ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog‘. A browser will return a human-readable description about the concept Dog. Another social thing is the Wikipedia page about dogs. Again, one could suggest the URI ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog‘ for that. We can handle that, but RDF can’t. So in order to have a usable, non-ambigouos RDF model, we must use different URIs for different concepts.
And we should choose them with care, so that humans who indepentenly search for URIs have few nameclashed and lots of overlap.
As wordnet and wikipedia are outstanding central repositories for socially constructed URLs, we would like to re-use them. That’s how we came up with the idea to re-use these URIs and simply add a ‘#’ for the concept.

The other key point is the Allegra and Public Names initiative:

The semantic web does lack a model for simple computer system that can express semantic relations in a URI.

So, what do we human use to express semantic relations?

We articulate, use white spaces and punctuation as we write, pause and ryhmes as we speak, etc.

[ … ]
Public Names is a simple protocol to encode articulated sets of 8-bit byte strings and validate them as unambiguous, semantically non dispersed.
[ … ]
Instead of a meaningless pointer, Public Names users have a well articulated set that express semantic relations between text. They have at last a meaningfull pointer which can be validated as well articulated and fed into an index.

I think it’s a solution to encode a string and remember the semantic inside an arbitrary string, as far i can understand:

-> Public Names

The Semantic Web needs another data model for the medium we intelligent human beeing are busy writing it with: text itself.
All kind of text, including resource properties descriptions, but also news items, history facts, novels, philosophical citations, poetic verses, song lyrics or even political discourses.

RDF is not an appropriate data model for semantic applications and building one on top of it proved be impractical. A single articulation may be enough to name resource properties. But it is not appropriate for a Semantic Web made of free texts, diversely and upredictably articulated.

The W3C’s model was designed for resource description resolution, but there is no practical way to build an usefull semantic application with this simplistic (subject, object, predicate) triple, no matter how much sophistication is added on top of it.

It’s not clear to me, or not at all, the key point of this declaration towards the SW layers…
But we can make another post about the big vision of Allegra approach: what i am interesting in is the IDENTIFICATION question…

Public names as a response to URI ambiguity: save the meaning of words used in the URI itself using ARTICULATION…

Articulated text is our best data model when it comes to express semantics. It is the form we have used to express ourselves and communicate since the dawn of history. Each languages, each dialect allready has its own grammar, syntax and vocabulary for which we, groups or individuals, have our own contextual, diverse and ever changing ontologies.

The smallest common denominator between all those languages is articulation. Not a simplistic triple good enough to name a resource property. Nor the diverse and dissenting schemas, grammars or ontologies each group or individual can come with.

IMHO RDF is far from being perfect but there are a lot of “heads“ behind it and i think there is a lot to save…

I’ll make a better explanation of my point of view in a future post…

By the way i want to invite Laurent to explain better his solution to the URI crisis problem with real examples, also connected with the idea of social meaning of URIs ( Wikipedia solution ).

It’s difficult to say what’s the truth or the better approach to resolve the problem, so first i add other interesting stuff to the discussion…
That’s a simple task :)…

-> XRI - eXtensible Resource Identifier
-> ROR (Resources of a Resource)
-> I-Tags

My 2 cents…

I’m thinking on it and from an RDF point of view i have already some troubles with URIs…

In fact when i want to make a statement about something that has an URL that’s no problem… But what about something not in the Net, something like love or a person or a concept..

My understand of RDF world allows me to use my own domain - dagoneye.it - to make URI about all i want and that’s it…
Than if i’ll found another URI that indicates and identifies the same thing i can make a triple using owl:sameAs property for example…

Remembering the open nature of RDF model…

But if i don’t have a domain?

And as we can see using an URI with the http protocol is correct or is it a better solution using the urn prefix?

A URI doesn’t have any implicit meaning, but a social meaning derivated from the people use of that URI: the idea of using Wikipedia and Wordnet URLs for concepts identification is a social solution that IMHO it’s a very good idea…

We can think that from the project and the efforts of a Semantic Wikipedia where every URL returns the content for the humans but also for the machines ( in RDF of course ) is a permanent evolution of the Web and offers us the URIs to identify things accepted from the community…

And using XRI maybe… [ i don’t know enough this initiative to comment on it ]

Another example of the bottom-up design of Internet and the Web :)

So using this social implication of URIs, better tools and a clear way of producing RDF resources it’s the next step: and the comprehension that RDF is still usable alone in small world applications like Shelley Powers efforts show us..