W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > June 2007

Re: homonym URIs (Re: What if an URI also is a URL)

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 12:21:29 -0500
Message-Id: <p0623090cc2972877aec6@[10.100.0.28]>
To: "Hammond, Tony" <t.hammond@nature.com>
Cc: Ian Davis <lists@iandavis.com>, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>

>  > So there is a gap there to be filled. Just declaring that a URI is a
>>  Universal Identifier doesn't seem to me to hack it. On the one hand,
>
>Couldn't agree more. Once again, shall we? ;)
>
>     URI != Universal Resource Identifier
>
>but rather
>
>     URI = "Uniform" Resource Identifier
>
>Big difference. URI spans multiple namespaces - not just the HTTP URI
>namespace. It's just a prescription for encoding identifiers in a uniform
>manner.

Fine, and I apologize for my terminological slip. 
But my main point remains. Most names are not 
identifiers in the sense required: they are not 
completely unambiguous, they do not have a single 
referent, and they are routinely used in 
situations where to determine the intended 
meaning even well enough for pragmatic adequacy 
requires negotiation or the use of context. So if 
URIs are just a prescription for encoding names, 
then either what is said about URIs is wrong, or 
URIs have some how magically re-defined the 
general business of naming things. I lean towards 
the former conclusion.

Pat Hayes

>Therefore it's more than reasonable to assume that there may exist
>identifiers from different namespaces (and minted by different naming
>authorities) with the same referent - but all packaged according to the URI
>prescription.
>
>Tony
>
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Received on Thursday, 14 June 2007 17:21:48 UTC

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