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Friday, December 21, 2007

W3C First Public Draft: Cool URIs for the Semantic Web

W3C announced that the Semantic Web Education and Outreach Interest Group
has released a first Working Draft for "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web."
Comments on this draft are requested by 21-January-2008. The document
explains the effective use of URIs to enable the growth of the Semantic
Web. URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) more simply called "Web
addresses" are at the heart of the Web and also of the Semantic Web.
It gives pointers to several Web sites that use these solutions, and
briefly discusses why several other proposals have problems. Web
documents have always been addressed with URIs (in common parlance often
referred as Uniform Resource Locators, URLs). This is useful because it
means we can easily make RDF statements about Web pages, but also
dangerous because we can easily mix up Web pages and the things, or
resources, described on the page. So the question is, what URIs should
we use in RDF? To identify the frontpage of the Web site of Example Inc.,
we may use ''. But what URI identifies the company
as an organisation, not a Web site? Do we have to serve any content
(HTML pages, RDF files) at those URIs? In this document we will answer
these questions according to relevant specifications. We explain how to
use URIs for things that are not Web pages, such as people, products,
places, ideas and concepts such as ontology classes. We give detailed
examples how the Semantic Web can (and should) be realised as a part of
the Web. The draft document is a practical guide for implementers of the
RDF specification. It explains two approaches for RDF data hosted on
HTTP servers (called 303 URIs and hash URIs). Intended audiences are
Web and ontology developers who have to decide how to model their RDF
URIs for use with HTTP. Applications using non-HTTP URIs are not covered.
This document is an informative guide covering selected aspects of
previously published, detailed technical specifications.

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