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theory and practice (Re: URIs for Physical Items)

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 10:34:55 -0400
Message-Id: <200010271431.KAA29769@hesketh.net>
To: "'uri@w3.org'" <uri@w3.org>
At 09:35 AM 10/27/00 -0400, it was written:
>What "they guy on the street" thinks of URLs, and thinking of URLs
>as something uniquely tied to the world wide web Internet application
>are the obfuscation.

Is there any chance that the URI community can stop thinking of the formal
URI work as brilliant clarity and the 'guy on the street' view as
'obfuscation'?

There's a remarkable divide here, whoever may be considered to be finally
right or wrong on such matters.  The 'guy on the street' seems to view the
formal URI work as 'obfuscation' the same way, so I'd suggest there's a
real problem here.

When I start talking with developers outside of this small group about
URIs, I get eye-rolling, boredom, and general irritation.  Questions I get
range from "why should we really care?" to "why would I use something
without a real infrastructure?"  Even UUIDs get the raspberry on a regular
basis.

When I talk about URLs, and even the reasons why URLs aren't the answer to
everything, I get solid questions, including tough questions about content
negotiation and the like.

I worry that some people see all that's come so far as a barrier to what
they really want to do, without a whole lot of concern for what everyone
else might want to do.  Top-down specification doesn't seem to be doing
much to get developers excited and put URIs into the world.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Friday, 27 October 2000 10:31:30 GMT

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