Monday, September 04, 2006

JasonKolb.com: Reinventing the Internet, part three: Unlocking the potential of the URI 

JasonKolb.com: Reinventing the Internet, part three: Unlocking the potential of the URI: "Now, GUID’s are great, I’ve been using them forever and they work well. However, why are we using a nonsensical series of letters and numbers to identify something? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me; there should be a way to uniquely identify something and make it possible to relay that address to another human without copying and pasting it into an email. Can't we also make it more useful than just identifying a resource?

About this point is where I had my “Aha” moment. I realized that there is another option for globally unique ID’s, that’s human readable, and that already has functionality baked in: namely, it allows you to locate what you're looking at, on the Internet. What I’m referring to, of course, is the URI. With a URI, you have the ability to uniquely identify something over all of the Internet and, this is key, actually GET TO IT and DO SOMETHING with it.

Think about that for a second. When it’s put into place, what that actually does is turn the entire Internet into one giant relational database."

Minding the Planet: The Ontology Integration Problem 

Minding the Planet: The Ontology Integration Problem: "In my own experience designing a number of OWL ontologies (500 classes - 3000 classes on average) it has often been easier to create my own custom ontology branches to cover various concepts than to try to integrate other ontologies of those concepts into my own.

One of the reasons for this is that each ontology has it's own naming conventions, philosophical orientation, domain nuances, design biases and tradeoffs, often guided by particular people and needs that drove their creation. Integrating across these different worldviews and underlying constraints is often hard. Simply stating that various classes or properties are equivalent is not necessarily a solution because thier inheritance may not in fact be equivalent and thus they may actually be semantically quite different in function, regardless of expressions of equivalence. OWL probably needs to be a lot more expressive in defining mappings between ontologies to truly resolve such subtle problems."

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