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distinguishing between 'description URLs' and 'interface URLs'

From: Michiel de Jong <michiel@unhosted.org>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 15:19:43 +0200
Message-ID: <CA+aD3u1oAWzFA68kROXjG+L24QLgVY_8ri_uwjDs78L0uM=Kww@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-opentag@w3.org
Hi!

we all know the diagram that explains the relation between URI, URN
and URL. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_resource_identifier

I often have to look back at it, and thanks to the many long
discussion i've had with Melvin over the last months, i understand it
a bit better now. I do have a question though:

I can refer to a real-world thing using a URI, in three ways:

1) - using a URN, like urn:isbn:... refers to a book, but it's no
interface to the book, nor a description of it.
2) - with the URL of an interface, for instance:

var user = {
  email: 'mailto:'+userName+'@'+hostName
};

(note the difference with say in var user = 'mailto:...' which would
be a type error)

3) - with the URL of a description, for instance:

var building = {
  descriptions: ['https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House']
};

To a web resource i can additionally refer

4) with its own proper URL, since it has one, so:

var document = {
  locationForRetrieval: 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House'
};
var mailbox = {
  locationForInteraction: 'mailto:'+userName+'@'+hostName
};

So now my question: i want a way to easily say each of these three
possible relations between a string and an object, in a way in which
people will understand what i mean. the first one is easy. i just say:

1) the string X is the "URN of" the object Y

for the other two i would say:

2) the string X is the "URL of an interface to" the object Y
3) the string X is the "URL of a description of" the object Y

How about "interface-URL of" and "description-URL of"?

and then also:

4) the string X is the "URL for retrieving" the document Y
5) the string X is the "URL for interacting with" the interface Y

could be split further into "retrieval-URL" and "interaction-URL".

They are all URLs, but the endless misunderstandings that are holding
back the discussions about web architecture can maybe be aleviated a
bit if we all start training ourselves to always use one of these five
terms for different types of URIs:

for non-web entities, or in secondary documents:
- URN
- interface-URL
- description-URL

for web entities:
- retrieval-URL
- interaction-URL

My 2ct,
Michiel
Received on Tuesday, 8 May 2012 13:20:17 GMT

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