Dear John: (01)
John F. Sowa wrote:
> Redirecting this thread from ontology-summit to ontolog forum.
> Martin and David,
> All modern technology is based on universal identifiers such
> as 'gram' and 'volt', which are unique within the domain of
> measurement. For such purposes, the methods of resolving the
> identifiers are far more secure than any method based on URIs.
> A URI for the term 'gram', for example, would be a single point
> of failure that could be attacked by any novice-level hacker.
> I agree with both of those points:
> MH> Using [old fashioned paper methods] provide more legal/
> > administrative control that can be used to maintain the meaning
> > associated with the symbol. In particular, there is a lot of
> > "old economy" legal power to enforce compliance etc.
> > URIs, in contrast, have the advantage that they drastically reduce
> > the cost for the community to look up the intended meaning of the
> > symbol (i.e. the URI), which reduces the familiarization costs and
> > may support convergence in the usage of the symbol in communication.
> That "old economy" had a lot of faults, but just note the recent
> economic disaster caused by people who used computers to avoid the
> controls of the "old economy".
> MH> So, IMO, URIs are the best technique that mankind has had so far
> > for establishing and maintaining / renewing consensus about the
> > meaning of those identifiers.
> If you replace "best" with "an interesting new", I'll accept that
We can agree upon that ;-)
> But so far, the people who are reaching that consensus
> have been innocent academics or worse the experienced kind of
> people who rejected the controls of the "old economy".
> DL> In the future ISO may assign identifiers to things rather than
> > documents. These identifiers may be URIs, and ISO may provide
> > a Web service so that dereferencing a URI for a thing redirects
> > to a document that defines the thing.
> Yes, I'm aware of that danger. But for any kind of mission-critical
> application, it's essential to guarantee that those dereferencing
> methods are secure. Since secure methods are likely to have a
> higher level of overhead, it's important to dereference a single
> secure URI for an entire ontology, which includes the unique names
> such such as 'gram', 'kilogram', etc.
Yes, but the basic question is whether institutions or broad involvement
/ democracy guarantee the security better. (02)
Take rating agencies, for example. They are the prime example of
privileged institutions and controlled procedures
that failed in providing security. Of course, it is easy for anybody in
the world to forge financial data about a company in e.g. Wikipedia. (03)
But it is also much easier for people in the world to spot fraud,
errors, or other forms of incorrect data when the overhead for accessing
the specification is minimal. (04)
> If the current methods for using URIs ever became widely adopted in
> mission-critical applications, Kim Jong-il would be able to accomplish
> his grandest dream:
> Reduce the entire world economy to the level of North Korea.
Maybe. But if the Iranian opposition had to wait for ISO to register the
#iranelection hashtag, then the chance for establishing a
consensual token for communication fast enough would have been minimal. (05)
One could well argue that supporting free speech is a mission-critical
> For critical identifiers, such as the terms of an ontology, it is
> essential to perform a single dereferencing operation for an entire
> lexicon. Within the ontology we can continue to use humanly readable
> identifiers, such as 'gram', 'volt', 'ampere', etc. Those terms are
> secure because there is no single point of failure, such as a URI.
I was not generally advocating to use individual URIs for ontology
elements without any institutional framework around it.
Quite the opposite, I expect that key ontology specifications will in
the future use digital signatures to prevent unauthorized modifications. (07)
Also, see for the very interesting FOAF-SSL approach for security in an
open, URI-based environment: (08)
Martin Hepp (010)
> John Sowa
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (01)