How URI meaning is defined
The new section 2.3.3 Interaction between social and formal meaning in the concepts doc is great stuff... http://www.ninebynine.org/wip/RDF-concepts/Latest/rdf-concepts.html#section-Social 18 October 2002 But I think it's missing an important point when it says "Note that this argument depends on another social convention of RDF, which is that URIs 'belong to' somebody who has authority and responsibility for defining their meanings." That social convention comes from the combination of the URI spec and (in this case) the HTTP spec. The URI spec[RFC2717,RFC2396] is an agreement about how the internet community allocates names and associates them with protocols by which they take on meaning; the HTTP URI scheme[RFC2616*] uses DNS in such a way that the names take on meaning by way of messages from the domain holder (or somebody they delegate to). While other communications (documents, messages, ...) may suggest meanings for such names, it's a local policy decision whether those suggestions should be heeded, while the meaning obtained thru HTTP GET is, by internet-wide agreement, authoritative. *section 3.2.2 in particular http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec3.html#sec3.2.2 Hmm... I didn't start that as suggested wording for the spec, but maybe you can use it as such.
Dan argues that the meaning of URIs is not simply defined by the URI's 'owner', but by some convention whereby the URI gains meaning through use.
GK's text, clearly.
We seem to be getting conflicting views on this. TimBL seems to be saying the opposite, and asked for some text which conveyed something of Dan's apparent meaning to be changed: [[ The "currency through use" leads one away from the fundamental difference between RDF and natural language - that RDF predicates can be defined by an authoritative body, and misuse by others will not (system working) undermine that authority. ]] In the absence of clear agreement, I'm inclined to say less rather than more.
On re-reading, I take a different view of Dan's comment.Adopting Dan's comment with more emphasis on URIs-in-general than http: URIs in particular. Also, moved the corresponding text out of the example sub-section.
Issue at least partially reflected in published WD document, and further in the 2002-11-21 working draft version cited.Some more work is going into the current editors' working draft, with wording to include reference to social context as well as defining authority.