[DAS2] Why use URIs for feature IDs?

Thomas Down td2 at sanger.ac.uk
Wed Feb 8 23:20:34 UTC 2006

[I should prefix my comments here by saying that I don't actually  
have a terribly strong opinion on this matter *except that* I'd  
really like the spec to be explicit on how feature query language  
works...  Does it go .../features?type=exon, .../features?type=types/ 
exon, or .../features?type=http://das2.sanger.ac.uk/ensembl35/types/ 

Anyway, I'm still having a bit of trouble seeing why features need  
individually GETable URIs.  The use case I remember from the  
conference call was that it would be nice to be able to describe DAS/ 
2 features in RDF documents.  I guess that makes sense to me, but for  
this purpose is there anything wrong with a URI like:


This seems compatible with Andrew's ID proposal.

My memory of RDF/DAML/OWL/etc is that most objects which get  
described in such documents are actually fragment identifiers in  
larger documents, rather than individually GETable entities.  Am I  
missing something here?


On 8 Feb 2006, at 18:12, Helt,Gregg wrote:

>       Regarding using URIs for DAS features, here's the quote from  
> Paul
> Prescod that I used in the original DAS/2 grant proposal addressing  
> the
> question "why use URIs?".  From
> http://www.prescod.net/rest/rpc_for_get.html :
> You can give that URI address to anyone, anywhere and they can  
> reuse it.
> In particular this means that we can compose applications that were  
> not
> thought of in advance. Google is an example of an application that was
> composed "after the fact" out of URIs. Yahoo is another...There are a
> raft of deployed W3C recommendations that work with information  
> related
> through URIs. Many of these are XML-related specifications that  
> work as
> well in API-like applications as in user interface-based applications.
> These include: XPath, XPointer, XSLT, XLink, RDF, XInclude, XQuery,
> xml-stylesheet.  Information published through HTTP URIs can be  
> combined
> through XInclude, queried and sorted through XQuery and XSLT, visually
> rendered with xml-stylesheet, related through RDF, linked through  
> XLink,
> pointed into through XPointer.
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