[tdwg-guid] URN, URI and http

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Apr 25 21:19:11 CEST 2007

In the RDF, what URI would you use for the species concept?

If it is http://www.speciesid.org/species/45ae56895967 (which seems the  
logical choice), then you need some way for RDF documents to refer to  
this URI, but also have Semantic Web browsers be able to get the RDF  
document that provides the metadata about the URI. This is what the 303  

Put another way, the issue is what convention do we use to say that  
"the RDF version of metadata about this URI is available here". How do  
we tell browsers/semantic web crawlers/etc. to find this info? The 303  
redirect is one way of doing this, and is being adopted by Semantic Web  
tools (of course, as with all these things not everyone likes the 303  

Having a rule that says "let's add .rdf to the URI" is fine, except how  
do tools developed by other communities know that this is the rule? If  
we adopt one ad hoc solution and others adopt another, we loose  
interoperability. For me, this is vital to avoid our own little ghetto.

The 303 redirection/hash idea is in one sense ad hoc, but it is being  
adopted, and will also work with REST (the client just needs to be able  
to handle redirection).

You could, of course, do both. Adopt the convention you describe, but  
also support 303 redirects so that Semantic Web tools are happy.

Regarding HTML, there are all sorts of ways to do this. My  
http://bioguid.info toy uses a XSL style sheet to display HTML by  
default in a web browser (if you "view source") you'll see it's just  
RDF under the hood.



On 25 Apr 2007, at 18:14, Pete DeVries wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I was wondering if it would not be simpler to have the following uri  
> structure.
> http://www.speciesid.org/species/45ae56895967  <- the concept of the
> species (uri)
> http://www.speciesid.org/species/45ae56895967.xml <- species concept  
> info as xml
> http://www.speciesid.org/species/45ae56895967.rdf  <- species concept
> info as rdf
> It is even possible to have a .html if you want a human readable page.  
> The
> fact that a web server by default adds an .html to a request does not  
> mean
> that the concept uri and the html species page are the same thing.
> This would be easy to setup either as static pages, or by using a
> database driven
> site. The 303 redirection and  the hash technique both seem to be more  
> complex
> than they need to be.
> The structure above is also very ameanable to REST style webservices.
> - Pete
> On 4/16/07, Markus Döring <m.doering at bgbm.org> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I don't really intend to fire up a new discussion about GUIDs, but I
>> came across some pretty good documents about URIs I thought I share
>> with you. They adress pretty much all of our needs for persistent and
>> resolvable identifiers in these texts.
>> (1)  
>> http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/dfkidok/publications/TM/07/01/tm-07-01.pdf
>> "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web" by Leo Sauermann DFKI GmbH, Richard
>> Cyganiak Freie Universität Berlin (D2R author), Max Völkel FZI  
>> Karlsruhe
>> The authors of this document come from the semantic web community and
>> discuss what kind of URIs should be used for RDF resources.
>> (2) http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/URNsAndRegistries-50
>> This one here is written by the W3C and addresses the questions "When
>> should URNs or URIs with novel URI schemes be used to name
>> information resources for the Web?" The answers given are "Rarely if
>> ever" and "Probably not". Common arguments in favor of such novel
>> naming schemas are examined, and their properties compared with those
>> of the existing http: URI scheme.
>> best wishes,
>> Markus Döring
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Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
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