According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which is still on my to-read list), “42” is The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. However, I think there may be an exception when it comes to the question about httpRange-14, a long debated issue in web circles (see also http-range-14 no comment).

Earlier today, the Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group sent word to the TAG, that it has resolved that an http URI without a hash MAY be used to identify an RDF property. Thus, we may have a partial answer to httpRange-14, one that isn’t “42”, but one that doesn’t answer other questions (not including “Life, the Universe, and Everything”).

I think the conclusion by the SWBPD WG is sound — while in an ideal world it could be useful to know just by looking at a URI whether it identified a document or something else, it isn’t strictly necessary. Sure, it might help a human out now and then, but in the long run, the machines will be doing the analyzing part, and according to the TAG’s finding on what URIs identify, URIs are opaque. It all comes down to semantics assigned by humans.

At the same time, it is often practical and useful to use fragment identifiers for RDF vocabulary terms, so wording that uses “MAY” is perfect in my book — even if it doesn’t answer or solve everything…

One thought on “42

  1. Hey!
    While I came here looking for an RDF schema that represents a blog directory, I found your “42” post and wondered how many posts are there having this title?!
    Mine is here. (in Arabic :-)
    Anyway, go ahead and read The Guide..your gestalt will change (again)

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