W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > April 2003

Re: Resources and URIs

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 21:31:07 -0400
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
Cc: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030429013107.GX2115@tux.w3.org>

* Roy T. Fielding <fielding@apache.org> [2003-04-28 17:54-0700]
> I do not accept the argument that nothing should be said about resources
> in the spec.  The URI-WG tried that originally and failed miserably --
> dozens of identifier schemes and related projects were created based on
> false assumptions about the limits of resource.  Years of effort were
> wasted in attempts to create "better identifiers" that didn't suffer
> from the imagined limitations of existing identifiers.  That is why
> the definitions were added in 1997, and I'd rather hash this out in
> one place than have to explain it again in every single working group.
> In fact, I don't think the problem you are describing has to do with
> confusion over "identity" at all, but rather what it means to "identify"
> a resource.  In that sense, it is unfortunate that they are called
> identifiers, but I can improve that definition as well.  In fact, I
> already did that yesterday:
> http://www.apache.org/~fielding/uri/rev-2002/ 
> rfc2396bis.html#rfc.section.1.1
> If anyone has comments on that text, please be specific.  Otherwise,
> this issue is closed.


    An identifier is an object that carries identifying data. It is not 
necessary for the identifier to define what is being identified; it is only 
necessary for the identifier to provide sufficient data to distinguish 
what is being identified from all other things within the scope of its use. 
A URI is an identifier object consisting of a sequence of characters that 
matches the restricted syntax defined by this specification.

I am concerned by the 'within the scope of its use' qualifier. Could you 
give 2 or 3 examples of such usage scopes? Can the state/content of these 
scopes change, making something into an 'identifier' or making it 'mere data' 
depending on context. I find this a very slippery concept to thing about 
without examples.

My specific proposal is that the phrase "within the scope of its use" be 
dropped. Without more detail, it adds only mystique. And we've plenty of
that already...


re "A resource is a source of supply or support within the context of a given system."
...is that wording as intended, or in progress. The terms "supply" and "source of" 
seem to do the same work.
Received on Monday, 28 April 2003 21:31:10 UTC

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