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RE: Comments on Working Draft 5 July 2004 - Avoiding URI aliases

From: Williams, Stuart <skw@hp.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 10:26:29 +0100
Message-ID: <E864E95CB35C1C46B72FEA0626A2E80803984425@0-mail-br1.hpl.hp.com>
To: Renato Iannella <renato@iannella.it>
Cc: public-webarch-comments@w3.org


Thank you for your comment.

The first two URI are *not* aliases for the same resource. These URI
identify [*] two distinct resources that happen, at the present time, to
share a set of available representations. The first resource is a specific
version of the Web Arch document whilst the second resource is the current
version. There is no contradiction here ie. the resources are different,
their current representations are identical.

As for the (apparent) embedding of dates in the URI, that is a convenient
way of associating a unique URI with a particular resource. As it happens,
the W3C pub rules [+] describe this pattern of URI usage in the space rooted
at http://www.w3.org/TR/. This might be thought of as a local policy. The
exact policy appears to have changed over time and it is not clear what the
ongoing commitment to that particular policy is - although one would not
expect gratuitous change. 

IMO it would be better not to attribute any particular significance to the 8
characters before the '/' in the 1st and 3rd URI. Certainly, read in
conjuction with the policy in pubrules it might be reasonable to in some way
associate a date with the resource. But I think that the primary purpose of
this usage pattern documented in pubrules is to provide a means to generate
unique URI, and not to communicate a date.

I hope this helps.

Best regards

Stuart Williams
[*] Pat Hayes C-sense :-) 
[+] turns out that it was more explicit in the previous version of pubrules
http://www.w3.org/2003/05/27-pubrules and a clear statement of policy seems
to have been lost from the current version of pubrules (at least I could not
find it) :-(

> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-webarch-comments-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-webarch-comments-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of 
> Renato Iannella
> Sent: 8 July 2004 05:47
> To: public-webarch-comments@w3.org
> Subject: Comments on Working Draft 5 July 2004 - Avoiding URI aliases
> In section 2.3.1, it states that it is good practice to 
> "Avoid URI aliases".
> However, many sites (including W3C) enjoy the practice of 
> utilising URIs for version control over documents. Like the 
> Web Architecture document itself with:
> This version:     http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-webarch-20040705/
> Latest version:   http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/
> Previous version: http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-webarch-20031209/
> Obviously, the first two URIs are aliases. And on the 9th Dec 
> 2003, the last two URIs were also aliases. And, 
> interestingly, depending on the day of the year, the middle 
> URI could return one of many different (versions) of the document.
> I've found the above practice quite acceptable (so does W3C 
> and many others?).
> So, why is there a "practice" against it?
> Cheers
> Renato Iannella
> http://renato.iannella.it
Received on Thursday, 8 July 2004 05:26:49 UTC

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