[uf-discuss] Re: [microformats-discuss] URI's URL's and RDF

Kevin Marks kmarks at technorati.com
Tue Oct 25 14:06:53 PDT 2005

On Oct 25, 2005, at 11:32 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 25 Oct 2005, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
>> On Oct 25, 2005, at 11:14 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>> Sure. And if you do usability studies you find that people have
>>> trouble with the "URI" part of that already.
>> Just so I understand: are you complaining about URIs or URLs?
> In W3C terminology, the term "URL" is officially obsolete.
> In Web terminology, there's no difference.
> So I guess I don't understand the question. What do you mean by URI and
> what do you mean by URL?

Here's my take on it, which may be a bit parodic.

RDF really liked URLs. It liked their flexibility so much it decided 
everything should be a URL - all 3 parts of the predicate. [thing 
relationship other_thing]

However this makes RDF look like a rabbit attack to a parser - every 
statement becomes 3 URLs to resolve, making it seem like the acronym 
stands for 'Recursive Descent Forever'.

Rather than step back from this, RDF decided to have special kinds of 
URLs that weren't meant to really be resolved and locate anything, but 
instead to stand as distinguishing tokens for the parser. It called 
these URIs. Then just to keep things conceptually clean, it redefined 
URLs as a subset of URIs.

Now URL's that don't resolve are very annoying to people who may click 
on the links, or parsers who try and resolve them, so RDF decided to 
squirrel them away where people couldn't see them, and click on them by 
mistake,  rather than use an HTML representation.

So, the Campaign for Real URLs here is about going back from abstract 
URIs that are really Identifiers to actual Links or Locations that 
resolve when clicked on.

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list